Multitasking is a form of wasted motion. Taiichi Ohno, in his book: The Toyota Production System outlined multiple forms of waste. Multitasking is a classic form of Muda, or wasted effort. It happens when people, systems or machines switch between contexts. Context switching has been heavily researched and pretty much every study shows that it creates large amounts of waste.
Estimated time for this course: 15 minutes
Suggested Prerequisites: Muda
Upon completion you will:
What this means for the team
Product Owners need to demonstrate to management that their Teams can do better quality work, faster if they can work uninterrupted. The business case for this is strong. Teams can get multiple projects done in less time when they can focus on just one project at a time. The quality of their work also increases. Just like switching from writing, to reading e-mail, to a phone-call interrupts, slows down and wastes an individual Team member’s time, switching from one development project to another wastes Team time (see slide.)
Multitasking is an embedded part of our culture in the digital age. Job descriptions demand it, bosses expect and we brag about our abilities to perform it. It seems like as a society, as multi-tasking has been pushed more and more upon us, we have embraced it. Unfortunately, multi-tasking is wasteful. Don’t do it.