Five reasons why project multitasking can damage your bottom line

keep it simple

Given that many of us will have returned to work with a list of projects to do which will drive the business forward this seemed a timely reminder; even more so where most of us have to ensure business as usual alongside project management.

Say there are three new projects – Project A, Project B and Project C, each takes two weeks to complete and we work on each project for a week over a three week cycle and then repeat the cycle.

What’s the impact on your bottom line of multitasking?

  • Project A will be worked on in weeks 1 and 4, so benefit realisation/additional profit will start in week 5; so by the end of 6 weeks there are 2 weeks benefits.
  • Project B will be worked on in weeks 2 and 5, so benefit realisation/additional profit will start in week 6; so by the end of 6 weeks there is 1 weeks benefit.
  • Project C will be worked on in weeks 3 and 6 so benefit realisation/additional profit won’t materialise until week 7. So over a 6 week period there’s a total of 3 weeks benefit realisation/additional profits from Projects A and B and none from C.
  • Whereas if each project was completed before starting the next one there’s a total of 6 weeks benefit realisation/profit (Project A weeks 3 to 6 and Project B weeks 5 and 6).
  • Switching focus from project to project, as we all know, means we have to get back into the swing of the project and so aren’t as effective immediately – perhaps even more so when balancing with business as usual. And its highly likely we’ll get distracted by outstanding matters from the other projects too.
So before rushing headlong into the projects on your list, stop and work out which has the biggest impact and start that one first and complete it before starting the next. You’ll be more focused and there’ll be a greater overall benefit.

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