5 Key Benefits in “De-Multitasking”
When I started at SUCCESS in 2013 our ability to deliver projects for our clients on-time and on-budget was stymied simply because we had project engineers that weren’t able to dedicate their time to their main function of delivering projects.
One of the first changes I insisted on as President was to eliminate multitasking wherever possible throughout the company, but especially within the project team.
Here is a list of the 5 key benefits we quickly gained by our “de-multitasking” efforts:
- Project cycle times improved
- Each project was completed significantly sooner than when the project team was constantly switching among projects and, more importantly, being interrupted by non-project work and activities.
- Satisfied customers
- Getting projects delivered on time or sooner is generally a pleasant surprise. We’ve all been conditioned to expect projects will be late, over-budget and often missing on some key deliverables. Consistently delivering projects as promised sets many companies apart from the competition (or if delivering to internal customers sets these teams apart from “the pack”).
- Project quality improves
- Simply by eliminating distractions and other non-project work, the number of mistakes and rework goes down and quality goes up.
- Financial benefits increase
- Interruptions in project work introduces “switching costs.” Depending on the number of interruptions and the complexity of the project work to be done, switching costs (the time added to a project simply due to restarting project work effectively once interrupted) can be a significant portion of the planned “time budget.” Eliminating switching costs can significantly reduce the overall labor content and therefore cost of any project. In addition to improving project profitability, completing projects for clients sooner means that invoicing and collections occur sooner as well, thereby improving cash flow. If the projects are internally focused, then finishing sooner means that planned financial benefits begin sooner as well. Benefits to the P&L, Balance Sheet (less work-in-process) and improved cash flows. What’s not to like?
- Before I get to the fifth benefit, which is fairly new news, it’s clear that de-multitasking in a project environment delivers projects of higher quality, lower cost, sooner and with significant other financial benefits. These alone should cause us all to look for ways to de-multitask. But there is one more key benefit, that if true, accrues to us individually…namely:
- “De-multitasking” helps protect our performance, our IQ and perhaps even our brains.
- I read this article that, if the other 4 benefits don’t convince you, perhaps this will. Read the short article by Dr. Travis Bradberry
If you are interested in discussing how to implement “de-multitasking” at your company or in your department, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get the conversation started!