I was recently skimming the archives of one of my favorite “blogging” blogs – Problogger – when I read something that stopped me dead in my tracks.
The thing that slammed me into this proverbial brick wall was an article titled: How Batch Processing Made Me 10 Times More Productive.
When I first read the title I thought to myself, “Oh dear. I’m going to have to educate Darren.” I mean, as lean practitioners we all know one piece flow is faster than the traditional batch and queue system.
And to make matter worse for poor old Darren, batching is the root cause for so many other issues: it creates overproduction, it hides defects, and creates mounds of inventory that in many cases no one wants to buy.
With this in mind I humbled myself and read the article anyway. And a strange thing began to happen… I started to understand why Darren was making these claims.
Some of the areas Darren uses batching are:
- Writing Posts
- Checking and Writing Email
- RSS Reading
- Editing Posts from Guest Authors
- Instant Messaging
- Comment Moderation
- Book Writing
Darren claims that by focusing, or batching as he calls it, on these tasks he is far more effective. Email is the easiest one to understand. Darren writes:
I’ve written previously about how I overhauled my inbox using Gmail but batching my use of email has helped me even more than the systems I put in place to filter my inbox. I generally do a very quick scan of my inbox first thing in the morning to look for anything genuinely urgent – but then do most of my processing mid morning and then in the evenings. Of course I scan it a few other times a day in case there are urgent emails (or if I’m expecting something) but attempt to get it right down to 0 every day (I don’t always succeed).
What do you think?
So, let me turn it over to you. Is batching in these cases OK? Or is it even batching at all? I mean one could argue checking email and blowing through them in one sitting is more an example of one piece flow.
What do you think? I am extremely curious to hear your thoughts.
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