Friday, December 7, 2007

Compartmentalization

This is yet another serious funda from my end; regarding how much to compartmentalize work, this may be at sports, work or at home. Pretty technical and specific but still wrote it ...

Let me start with a example that I have seen, while playing TT Tournaments in-between games we get chance to coach and be coached. I have seen at least few people giving instructions like -- Serve here, the return will come to place X you play that to Place Y and then finish the rally from Z -- This is true except for X,Y and Z I have seen such coaching. This is over-compartmentalization.

At the same time, I have seen people coaching saying win this game and the match is yours.... This is under-compartmentalization.

You could compartmentalize a game of TT point by point or have strategies when you are serving or at receiving end.... That is the right way to compartmentalize as I see...

Now, try to map it to the work we do, how many times have we not tried to break tasks during estimation saying, I know the line of code to be changed and then the estimate is analysis 0.2d, coding 0.1d and testing 1d. This is over-compartmentalization. If you know the code change then do it and mark the activity why break it...

There are other extremes where I have seeing implementation of XXXX 35days, what would be done in 35days god alone knows and even the estimator would not know...

Now to the work we do at home, I have not cleaned my home any weekend when I thought Saturday I will cleanup windows, doors and Sunday I will clean the ceiling... instead whenever I just know that something is coming up things get done.... I do compartmentalize but only wrt rooms....

Now, why do I write this funda... I have been noticing a lot of under-compartmentalization and which ends up being a mess towards the end of the lifecycle so better compartmentalize....

3 comments:

Bhargav said...
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Bhargav said...

Naaice... I can relate very much to the TT incident in this post of yours... And I beg to differ from you in this context... It is not a case of over-compartmentalization but a case of sheer stupidity...

And as far as the second part of your blog goes..i.e. wrt to work, i haven't seen any such thing like, 0.1d, 0.2d etc etc... All i have heard is... "You'd better finish the work or it's ur ass", or "I haven't seen you working productively from 2 and half years"...

Coming to the third part of the blog i.e. compartmentalization at home... I plan accurately as to what needs to be done and when, but a small concern here is that I tend to procrastinate a lot.. :D...

So, compartmentalization actually doesn't hold good for me... Mebbe you could try writing something that is more generic next time, which fits all classes of people.. :D

Raviraj said...

Interesting thoughts. I might agree with your views on TT and cleaning. But i didn't get completely what you have written about coding stuff. For small changes in your code, you might go ahead without "compartmentalization". But for bigger tasks, you need to give estimates to your clients.
"If you know the code change then do it and mark the activity why break it"... this might not work in that case.

In this case, what you feel as over-compart*(u couldn't find any other word? ), are actually some generic methods of estimation, which works out pretty well in most of the organizations. I would certainly like to know how you compart* correctly in the situations where you have bigger tasks like of 35-40 days. :)