Multi-Tasking Essay

673 Words Oct 15th, 2012 3 Pages
BUSS420 – Project Management

Week 6 – Assignment 2 – Case Study 12.1

Professor R. Torres

June 9, 2012

Justine Charvat

Chapter 12 – Case Study 12.1

How does multitasking confuse the resource availability of project team personnel?
Multitasking confuses resource availability for project team personnel because the resource availability must be divvied up over many different tasks involving functional duties, as well as project duties. It is usually not possible to say that Team Member A is allotted for x amount of time on this project from Point A to Point B. The x amount of time may go from Point A on a specific project over to Point D on a functional task and then back over to Point A on the specific project. The Team
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Perhaps when the economy improves the multitasking trend may lessen, but as a 20-plus year veteran of this mode of working, I don’t see that happening within the foreseeable future.
Because of 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 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 underscores the reality that although 40 hours of work may look like ‘one’ week of work performed on the project calendar, for all intents and purposes most individuals are not devoting their entire 40 hours worth of work to a project’s work tasks. It is rare for an employee to be able to devote his/her undivided attention to a single project task. Most often, employees will have numerous tasks on any given number of assignments. It is through this division of attention that multitasking ‘decouples’ activity duration estimates from the project’s baseline calendar. Research has shown that workers who are diverted from a project’s task take almost 25 minutes before they are able to return to it (Teach, 2007, p. 35). Another

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