You might think that involving a bunch of people in every company meeting and email keeps everyone on the same page. In reality, it's a productivity killer that hinders rather than helps employees get their work done.
Photo by yoshiffles.
When you're trying to get stuff done at work, particularly big projects, it's tempting to have a big bunch of people tackle it. Falling behind schedule? No problem! Throw more people at it, right?
Wrong. Inc.'s Joel Spolsky says the more people you add to a project, the more likely it is to fall even further behind schedule.
How can that be? Well, when you add a new person to a team, that person needs to communicate and coordinate with all the other people on the team. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is. The new kid doesn't know what's going on, so somebody else on the team — somebody who just last week was doing productive work — has to stop his or her work and show this newbie the ropes.
In fact, the best approach to staying on deadline, according to Spolsky, is to communicate less overall. He says there's no reason to copy 23 people on an email about the colour of your company logo when only the people in marketing really need to be involved. Dragging people to endless meetings and blasting employees with email about things that don't fall within the scope of their jobs is pointless at best, and a productivity buster at worst.
None of this probably comes as a great revelation, but next time you're considering adding another person to a project, it's worth keeping in mind. Do you find that your productivity goes up when you have to deal with fewer meetings and emails, or do you feel left out of the loop? Talk about it in the comments.
A Little Less Conversation [Inc.]