When we’re inundated with tasks, our productivity plummets as we constantly switch contexts, akin to a computer bogged down by too many open applications. We tend to underestimate the time lost to this context switching, which, as Martin points out, can be up to 20% per task. This loss can be quantified using the theory of constraints, which highlights how multitasking is not just inefficient, it’s counterproductive.


The essence of the discussion is that the more tasks we juggle, the less time we have for each, and the slower the overall progress. It’s a concept that’s often overlooked in the rush to be productive. But as the adage goes, less is often more. In our world of software development, this translates to smaller batch sizes and more focused effort on fewer tasks.

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Key topics covered in this exploration include the ‘Less is More’ principle, the cost of multitasking, the impact of context switching on productivity, and the application of these ideas to Scrum teams and task fragmentation. The conversation is rounded off with an engaging analogy, comparing work items to marbles in a pipe – large items block the flow, while smaller ones allow for a smooth and rapid progression.

NKDAgility can help!

Are you grappling with a seemingly insurmountable workload, finding it hard to focus, or struggling to complete tasks efficiently? If these challenges resonate with you, my team at NKDAgility stands ready to assist you. We recognise the pressing need for practical solutions that streamline your workflow and enhance your team’s output. And the time to address these issues is now, not later.

You’re invited to seize the opportunity for improvement today. Engage with my team for a free consultation, or enhance your skills through our upcoming professional Scrum classes. At NKDAgility, we don’t just provide agile solutions; we deliver a comprehensive transformation to Naked Agility.

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