Managing small ad-hoc development requests

After being involved in an request from an internal customer that left both parties dissatisfied with the interation, I decided to dedicate some time to thinking and investigating a more structured course of action to handle ad-hoc development requests. Some requests are more valid than others, and I’m hoping to use my findings as a course of action or an initial dialogue.

Some reasons why ad-hoc requests should be kept to a minimum

  • Reduction in effective hours in the day:

If a person gets a 30 minute distraction from their core project work, I know from personal experience, it can take a further up to 30 minutes to submerse yourself in your prior work. This is largely dependent on the complexity. In most countries the work day consists of 8 hours. If one person gets 3 x 30 minute distractions that can take anywhere up to 3 hours from their day.

  • Impact on productivity:

Studies of human behaviour show that productivity is reduced when multitasking and quality can be impacted as attention is diverted back and forth. Research has also shown increases in complexity can have greater impact on productivity and quality. Doing a Google search on multitasking will bring back many results on the topic.

When I looked into the most unproductive days of the week I found this article: When Do Most People Tweet which alludes to Fridays being the most unproductive day of the week. So, my thoughts are to give the most unproductive day of the week more structure, with small clear and measurable objectives by saving ad-hoc requests for Friday’s. This should give further structure to the team and also, in time, set internal customers expectations.

If you stumble across this post, and have some thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

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