Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too much work...

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about bottlenecks in development and 'How Innovation can be too much of a good thing' by George Anders. It mentioned the The Pollaczek-Khintchine formula (I never heard of it before...) - which got my interest - and how Slack Time can help reduce bottlenecks in processing. Regarding 'slack', I read the book: Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom DeMarco a few years ago....anyway - what I got from the article is that - to much innovation (to many new ideas being worked on) at the same time could reduce productivity and the reference to the P-K formula is that working on many 'small' projects is less efficient then a few larger ones.......where Slack (by Tom DeMarco) talks more about providing some 'slack' time to provide people time to 'think' and be more effective. Where is all of this going...not sure. I think there are two different issues/ideas here - one being efficiency and how the start up times contribute to reduced productivity (there's some physics reasoning to this also - something about bodies in rest and bodies in motion) - and the other idea about effectiveness and how focus and 'time to think' adds to this. I think the common denominator of efficiency and effectiveness is f0cus - focus on the ideas/tasks that provide the most (real or potential) benefit. This will reduce startup/transition times making you more efficient and also provides the extra time to 'think' and be more effective (and the end result of focusing on the more beneficial items makes you more effective also).....overall just some general ramblings caused by reading to much and being up early in the morning.

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