Black Swan Farming

Urgency, duration and CD3 prioritisation

Interesting question from the resident DJ Rough:

Urgent Optimism and how it can drive behaviour: gamification.co/2013/02/14/how… So, is Cost Of Delay entering into gamification? /cc @joshuajames

— Dan Rough (@danrough) April 3, 2013

The article he’s pointing to talks about how we are motivated by the opportunity to finish small or urgent tasks. Here’s a snip that talks about how this works with projects:

Urgent optimism can be incorporated into work events by bringing a sense of near completion to large projects, which is best achieved by breaking large projects into smaller milestones. Sure, the entire project might still take months, but if a milestone will be reached in the next few hours — a meaningful one — you might find people staying late to reach that goal.

In my view this is a great example of how humans have an innate sense of prioritisation that is aligned with CD3 (Cost of Delay Divided by Duration). It’s the combination of urgency (which we can measure using Cost of Delay) and the Duration (smaller, short duration tasks get higher priority). What’s interesting is how few organisations understand this and persist with overcomplicated methods of prioritisation that effectively ignore both of these.

And if it doesn’t come naturally to you, here’s the mathematical basis for using CD3 to schedule options when there is scarcity of capacity :)