I am hoping many people saw this Sunday's (10 April 2011) Dilbert on the subject of the "Theoretical Workload Limit" or T.W.L. I saw it in the funny papers and then again via email from a friend who couldn't resist sharing it.
As always, Scott Adams takes a common problem in the business world and takes it to its logical (and funny) endpoint. If we keep forcing people to do more and more work, everything becomes urgent. And when everything is urgent, then nothing is. QED
Not only does this kill individual workers, it kills workgroups as well. And it is a lesson that applies in project management, manufacturing, and in the supply chain. Too much work-in-process (WIP) kills the performance of the system.