Once a person reaches a state of flow with a task (fully focused and owrking optimially) once they are interupted it typically takes Twenty three minutes for them to get back in to the task and 30 mins to get back to that peak performance “state of flow”, basically every time you interrupt me you could take me an hour to get back to where I was before interuption. The scary side is they found there is a One in Eight chance I wont go back at all that day, thus diverted away fromw whats needed.
If someone is working, unless its really needed, and you cant make progress alone, leave them alone or wait until they are on a break. Naturally common sense applies.
Here is a great link to an blog post by Steve Pavlina on interruption and its impact on a persons productivity and ability to work. This goes with the general rule of slicing people time, every time you slide a person between projects you lose 10% of the net capacity and this explains some of that in more detail. its also interesting that there is a 1 in 8 chance the person you disturb does not get back to the task at had on the same day.
Please Don’t Interrupt.
This really enforces the Agile view that tasks should be short and focused to people can get things done, that establishing a rhythm is good so people can plan there time without interruption and that having a person such as a scrum master whos job is to help prevent interruptions is a high value role.
One of the greatest threats to performance is a simple element of human nature most often referred to Parkinsons Law. “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” there is much more to this law, in order for the work to expand other things must expand also, for the work to expand other elements relating to the work must expand also, complexity expands, capabilities expend.
So here we hit the joys of Agile, Agile uses short focused time boxes in terms of the daily cycle or the longer iteration or sprint cycle. That short cycle, those tight time boxes mean that you only have time to focus on what’s needed, what must happen. you can only focus on the musts (MSCW), so forcing the delivery to be quick, to be focused, elegant and , ensuring absence of waste(no time for extras) and absence of complexity.
Thus one of the great advantages of Agile is that is specifically addresses Parkinsons Law, Agile and specifically time boxes better focus the team. Its better to under deliver (just enough but not to much) than over deliver.
Ms | Janell Burley Hofmann, your a genius -i think this is a great and in many ways its an example of what leader , scrum master and managers should have with their teams. I like to call them Working Agreements, its written in a simple caring way that’s still real. It tells uswho we are but also how we will be with others, I love the fact it accepts that mistakes will be made, we will fail, we will fall and then we will get up off the ground and try again. Wonderful.
Gregory’s iPhone Contract | Janell Burley Hofmann.
Oh how much I wish every room I worked in was painted with this stuff.
Creative White Board Paint | IdeaPaint.
For those of you who use Scrum this is just delightful, however its is not hard to take the approach he is using beyond just scrum o monitor real progress on real product no matter what model your using. For example you could use some of these techniques to look at a water fall team and ask where time is spent, is it no the highest priority deliverable, same for RUP, AUP or any other model.
Rapid Scrum, LLC – Video Content.
To me this advice belongs and any design effort, there seems to be a constant pursuit of the absolute and everyone seems to be trying to find some sort of mathematical perfection. Seeking perfection or the absolute all the time seems to me to destroy the space needed for innovation. Once in stone evolution becomes hard or usually stops. Keeping in a prototyping mind sets allows you to continuous improve what you have. There is nothing wrong with letting a prototype into the world when its ready. Take the risk set if free when its still malleable and you find build a great product.
5 Ways to Begin Designing Your Life in 2013 | LinkedIn.
People ask me what is my role as a coach, what is my role as a scrum master, your role is to ensure every member of your team feels ” Supremely Satisfied” every single day, so what does that mean, Margret Thatcher sums it up best
“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. Its not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; its when youve had everything to do, and youve done it. ”