Case 12.1 Study-The Problems of Multitasking: A Case Analysis
Dr. William Quinsenberry
Case 12.1: The Problem of Multitasking
How does multitasking confuse resource availability of project team personnel?
Multitasking can often be confusing for resource availability for team personnel because the resource availability must be divided up into multiple tasks to drive each activity appropriately. If projects are indeed defined by their resource constraints, any attempt to create a reasonable project schedule must pass resource availability, thus allowing effective project scheduling a multistep process (Pinto, 2009).
When projects are created without allowing sufficient resources, project teams are immediately placed in a difficult, reactive position (Pinto, 2009). As a result, personnel are multitasked with their other assignments, are expected work long hours, and may not receive adequate training (Pinto, 2009). For almost all projects, ultimate decisions have to be faced to solve the case of misallocated resources within the schedule baseline (Pinto, 2009).
In most cases, the ultimate result is to force the project team make a tradeoff decision to either increase budgeted costs for performing these activities or extend the schedule to allow for extra time needed to do both jobs at the same time (Pinto, 2009). Either way, it will cost the organization time and money, which are the two significant factors of constraints that an organization can least afford (Pinto, 2009).
“In modern organizations, it is impossible to eliminate multitasking for the average employee.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
I agree with this statement due to the fact that most, if not all organizations make it precursor to jobs that are available in the market today. For example, being able to multitask is a requirement for the type of work environment that I am in. Many employees including myself, are faced with having their positions eliminated if they are unable meet this requirement. For me personally, I do not find this to be a challenge because it is something that I have always had to devote time and effort to in order to keep the job that I have in order to maintain my time and devoted efforts to sustain.
Workers in today’s business environments are confronted with heavy workloads that reflect not only their regular job expectations but also their involvement in multiple teams at the same time and workers handle these multiplied demands by juggling their individual and team related assignments and multitasking within levels and across levels (Altschuller et al. 2017).
It’s important for project managers to make project schedule more accurate while allowing for optimal scheduling of project resources so that project plans are based on meaningful resource requirements and duration estimates rather than wishful thinking (Pinto, 2009). In addition to managing resources, it’s also important for project managers to recognize the wide variety of constraints that adversely affect the efficient planning of scheduling project including personnel, materials and money (Pinto, 2009).
Because of the problems of multitasking, project managers must remember that there is a difference between an activity’s duration and the project calendar. In other words, 40 hours of work on a project task is not the same thing as one week on the baseline schedule. Please comment on this concept. Why does multitasking “decouple” activity duration estimates from the project schedule?
This concept gives emphasis that although 40 hours in identified as a typical work week performed on a project calendar, project members will tend to devote more than 40 hours’ worth of time toward project tasks and activities. It can be nearly impossible for an employee to devote half of that time and undivided attention towards a project task.
Activity duration estimates is accomplished through identifying the various tasks in a project and then computing a method for estimating the duration of those activities (Pinto, 2009). Determining the variance of these activities is not the same as computing the amount of time within a 40-hour workweek.
Altschuller, S., ; Benbunan-Fich, R. (2017). An integrated perspective of multitasking and multiple team membership. Communications of the IIMA, 15(1), 1-15. Retrieved from https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx-herzing.lirn.net/docview/1963136651?accountid=167104
Korte, M. D. (1999). Creating and maintaining project schedules using a process approach (Order No. 1396476). Available from ABI/INFORM Collection. (304511234). Retrieved from https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx-herzing.lirn.net/docview/304511234?accountid=167104
Pearson, Andy,P.H.D., C.E.N.G. (2017). The benefits of multitasking. ASHRAE Journal, 59(1), 64. Retrieved from https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.prx-herzing.lirn.net/docview/1858058918?accountid=167104
Pinto, J. K. (2009). Project Management: Achieving Competitive Advantage, 4th Edition. Vitalsource. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323313428/