Addendum to Brook's Law
I just read Joel Spolsky’s blog entitled A Little Less Conversation which discusses communication overload. After reading that post I began to consider my own personal experience in meetings over the last dozen or so years and decided to add an addendum to the communication node problem that was so eloquently detailed in the Mythical Man Month by Brooks.
The Mythical 40 Hour Workweek
Communication is crippling Corporate America. I know what you’re thinking, “That statement is preposterous. Communication is the bedrock of productivity today”, but if you bear with me I’ll explain my thinking on the subject. Communication may be the bedrock of business systems today, but it has also become an albatross around our necks and is draining us of our productivity. As organizations have flattened over the last two decades and command and control hierarchies have been replaced with matrix style organizations, communication between an ever increasing number of interested parties has sapped nearly all productivity from today’s corporations.
Multitasking is a Lie
Does instant messaging (IM), email, and social media make us more productive? Of course they do, right? … Well, the real answer is ‘no’ (what would be the point of this post otherwise?:). As a Community Manager for two open-source projects I reach out and ‘connect’ with people as part of my job. In doing so I use Twitter, mailing lists, IRC, and discussion forums almost constantly, but what about people who aren’t tasked with making connections and building community? Is it good for them?