Multitasking - The Good The Bad and The Ugly
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Multitasking - The Good The Bad and The Ugly

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What are some of the issues with the ability to multitask?

What are some of the issues with the ability to multitask?

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Multitasking - The Good The Bad and The Ugly Multitasking - The Good The Bad and The Ugly Presentation Transcript

  • The good, the bad, and the ugly Tal Aviv
  • What is multitasking?
    • (computing)
    • The simultaneous execution of multiple tasks ( programs ) under the control of an interrupt-driven operating system.
  • What is multitasking?
    • (buzzword, figuratively)
    • The practice or capability of handling more than one task at the same time.
    • Wikipedia – 7/26/2009 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/multitasking
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • Most professionals
    • Pride themselves on being able to multitask.
    • Deal with more then one project / task at a time
    • Claim to wear more then “one hat”.
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • Consider
    • If you are not multitasking, are you wasting precious moments?
    • We can read, eat, and listen at the same time simply because we want every free minute counts.
    • Throughout our lives, doing it all in less of a time is the way of life.
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • Consider the following situation:
    • You are a critical resource and you are currently working on 3 projects.
    • How long will it take to finish all 3 projects?
    Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Expected Duration 5 Days 5 Days 3 Days Expected Sales in $ 5,000,000 5,000,000 3,000,000
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • Assume you start working on project 1.
    • After 2 days, the Project manager of Project 2 comes and ask for status update.
    • You don’t want to show no progress so you stop working on project 1 and start working on project 2.
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • A day later the Project manager that knows your task should take only 3 days asks for a status update and start screaming when he hears that you made no progress.
    • You calm him down promising to work on his project the next day.
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • A week has passed and the current situation is
    • No Project was completed, all PM’s are upset
    Day 1 2 3 4 5 Project 1 1 2 2 3
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • Another week of multitasking has passed:
    • No project is completed.
    • All PM’s are screaming their heads off
    Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Project 1 1 2 2 3 3 1 1 2 2
  • Is Multitasking “Good” or “Bad”
    • Week 3, finally we see some results
    • Project 1 is done after 12 days (estimated 5)
    • Project 2 is done after 13 days (estimated 5)
    • Project 3 is done after 11 days (estimated 3)
    Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Project 1 1 2 2 3 3 1 1 2 2 3 1 2
  • What if Multitasking was not allowed?
    • The time to complete the 3 project is still the same but:
    • Project 1 is done after 5 days
    • Project 2 is done after 10 days
    • Project 3 is done after 13 days
    Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Project 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3
  • What if Multitasking was not allowed?
    • Project 2 & 3 are still late, but over all performance is greatly improved.
    • How soon will the company start bringing money in?
    • How much money will they make in the 13 days if multitasking is not allowed?
    • If multitasking is not allowed, what will be the impact on the organizational culture?
  • $$$ Oriented results
    • In real life cash flow is the life line of a company.
    • The speed of $$$ recovery might mean the survival of the organization.
    • Is time important?
  • 3 Projects with multi tasking
    • Project break even point is after 4 weeks
    • Profit after 6 week: $16,400
    Project Cost Revenue per week Days to complete Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Project 1 $10,000 $5,000 12 -$10,000 -$10,000 -$4,000 $1,000 $6,000 $11,000 Project 2 $10,000 $5,000 13 -$10,000 -$10,000 -$6,000 -$1,000 $4,000 $0 Project 3 $6,000 $3,000 11 -$6,000 -$6,000 -$3,600 -$600 $2,400 $5,400 Total $26,000 $13,000   -$26,000 -$26,000 -$13,600 -$600 $12,400 $16,400
  • 3 Projects with NO multi tasking
    • Project break even point is after 3 weeks
    • Profit after 6 week: $34,200
    Project Cost Revenue per week Days to complete Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Project 1 $10,000 $5,000 5 -$5,000 $0 $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000 Project 2 $10,000 $5,000 10 -$10,000 -$10,000 -$5,000 $0 $5,000 $10,000 Project 3 $6,000 $3,000 13 -$6,000 -$6,000 -$4,800 -$1,800 $1,200 $4,200 Total $26,000 $13,000   -$21,000 -$16,000 -$4,800 $8,200 $21,200 $34,200
  • Results?
    • We broke even 1 week earlier when no multi tasking was involved.
    • We more then doubled our profit after 6 weeks. ($34,200 Vs. $16,400)
  • Is multitasking good or bad – Exercise Pt.1
    • Each person gets 2 sheet of paper, one blank, one striped.
    • You will tear each sheet on paper in to 5 stripes
    • You will tear each stripe in to 6 pieces
    • The pieces do not need to be symmetrical or identical
    • No additional equipment to be used.
    • After 3 tears you will switch to the other sheet and vice versa.
    • The instructor will call out the time every 30 seconds
  • Is multitasking good or bad – Exercise Pt.1
    • What is the class distribution for:
      • Time?
      • Yield (errors)?
  • Is multitasking good or bad – Exercise Pt.2
    • Repeat the exercise but this time no multi tasking.
    • Finish with one sheet and only then move to the other sheet.
    • The instructor will call out the time every 30 seconds.
    • What is the class distribution for:
      • Time?
      • Yield (errors)?
  • Is multitasking good or bad? Set up time
    • How long does it take you to switch from one task to another?
    • How long does it take you to get your mind off of the previous topic and focus on the new one?
    • Do you need different tools, set up, information, etc?
    • Who accounts for all the time lost?
  • Bad Multitasking
    • Bad Multitasking is the act of dropping a primary function or activity for any length of time, in order to take up another task, simply to show that progress is being made on more than one project.
  • Bad Multitasking
    • In the first example we saw impacts to revenue due to project multitasking, but is multitasking always bad?
  • Bad Multitasking
    • Consider an administrative assistant, do you really want them to finish typing a letter before picking up the phone?
    • The situation must be investigated before a decision to multitask or not to multitask