Keep work from expanding to fill time in software development

Keep work from expanding to fill time in software development

Work expands to fill all time available for its completion

I’ve been thinking lately about time and deadlines. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You go to a meeting scheduled for an hour. A project decision is made in the first fifteen minutes, and the next forty-five minutes are spent discussing and re-hashing that decision…only to then settle on the original decision.
  • Your software team works in two week sprints yet seems to scramble in the last several days of each sprint to finish the bulk of the work.
  • In a project with a deadline months away, the requested feature list continues to change and grow while the deadline remains the same.

These examples are all instances of Parkinson’s Law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Read more

Multitasking: kill it to improve leadership!

Multitasking: kill it to improve leadership!

Multitasking man juggles office suppliesIt’s time to start a new support group: “Hi, my name’s Kevin, and I’m a multitasker.” During my team standup meeting, I may jot down items on my to-do list that I need to accomplish later. When attending meetings, I sometimes reply to emails while also trying to contribute to the meeting. Despite knowing that it actually decreases my productivity in the long run, I try to multitask anyway. I need help! And, I’m not alone.

Despite our misguided notions on the benefits of multitasking, research actually shows a significant mental decline when we multitask. Learn some of the facts about multitasking, why it can be harmful to you as a leader, and some ways to kill the multitasking habit when you need to. Read more