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Monday, August 5 • 14:00 - 15:15
Start Less, Finish More: The real costs of organizational multitasking (Brandi Olson)

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The research is compelling—our brains work best when focused on one task at a time. Switching between tasks results in a host of negative consequences—including dramatic losses of productivity, lower quality work, and increased burnout. At the agile team level, scrum masters, product owners, and coaches teach the principles of prioritization, focus, and getting to done.
But what happens when multitasking is built into the culture of an organization? Organizational multitasking happens when the efforts of the organization are divided across multiple work streams. It shows up in the form of competing priorities, high numbers of projects in progress, spreading people too thin, and employee turnover. The cost of organizational multitasking is expensive and devastating.
You know this already? Great! This session is for you. The workshop is focused on how to shift the mindset and culture that leads to organizational multitasking. We will explore the cost of organizational multitasking through science, games, simple illustrations. Participants will walk away with tools to influence change from a portfolio management culture of getting more started to a culture of getting more of the right things done.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate the science to support the case for more focus, less multitasking at the highest level of the organization.
  • Practice creating simple illustrations to explain the cost of multitasking for individuals and organizations.
  • Play games! Also, develop skills to play similar games with a leadership team, managers, and team members to shift the organizational mindset that perpetuates multitasking.


avatar for Brandi Olson

Brandi Olson

CEO, The Olson Group
I wholeheartedly believe that agile has the power to change the way smart people solve complex problems and make the world a better place. I got my start in agile when I was a special education teacher, and now I coach leaders on agile delivery and organizational design. I love talking... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake G/H/I