Save Time. Let Workers Pick Their Own Tasks

Posted by Andy Singleton on Oct 7, 2007 5:18:00 PM

A lot of project managers spend a lot of time figuring out who should do what task.  They they push tasks out to their developers.  I find that my projects usually go faster if I don't try to figure out, in advance, who should do what.  I like to use a pull system.  Team members pull their own tasks out of the ticket list.  A team member can select one ticket at a time from the list of tickets for the next milestone, put his/her name on it, and commit the related changes as quickly as possible.

Why not push?

- it is extra work for me, the manager, that I can let my developers do.

- It creates delays. If I inevitably assign more than one task to a developer, then the second task assigned to that developer isn’t getting worked on for as long as the first task is incomplete. In the pull system, that task would be unassigned, and someone might take it and finish it.

Pull is a double benefit for your schedule.  You do less work (the key to improved productivity), and you get to important work earlier.

Topics: project management, staffing

Written by Andy Singleton

Working on Continuous Agile and Accelerating Innovation, Assembla CEO and startup founder

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