Overlap time costs money

“Overlap time costs money” – a short video from scatterwork.com.

To give an example: When can we meet for a call? We have participants in New York, London and Sydney.

One combination is, 7 a.m. in New York (somebody gets out of bed a bit early), midday in London, 11 p.m. in Sydney (somebody goes to bed very late).

Here’s another combination; 5 p.m. in New York is OK, 10 p.m. in London – that’s a bit late, but Sydney is OK.

So our conclusion is that overlap time is very limited and it costs money, particularly if the people involved have to be paid overtime or there are additional costs for communication. So here are some strategies for dealing with this.

1. One strategy is to share documents before a meeting. Don’t waste meeting time just to say “I’ll send you this”.

Share access to databases and documents for the same reasons. If you make edits, comment them in the document so that the discussion can take place in writing and then it can be asynchronous; in other words you can make the comment when you see it, without needing overlap time to talk.

2. Partition the work so that you don’t need so much communication. If each work package is done in a particular place, then the communication within that work package is local and the actual amount of communication can be reduced.

3. Make the communication easier using a cloud-based collaboration service with workrooms (we use Podio). This is much easier than using email because the messages come in and they are tagged onto the particular deliverable or task.

With emails you have to always ask what they relate to and connect them back, so that’s a big tip.

To discuss any of these issues or indeed your own projects please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or any of the other methods.

I look forward to talking to you.
Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir (pronounce) is a Collaboration Consultant at Scatterwork, which supports Project Solutions for Virtual Teams.

Email: deasun@scatterwork.com

Tel: +41 79 692 4735 Talk to me

LinkedIn: Connect with me

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