Productivity Improvement | 06.15.2012

Urgent versus Important for Software Developers

Software Developers are often under pressure due to urgent requirements and aggressive delivery deadlines. It often appears that there is not much time to plan and prioritize. While we are engaged in some important task, there is an e-mail asking us to shift to another more urgent task. We don’t have a choice if this is triggered, for example, by our customer or due to a defect reported at client site. Dealing with one urgent task after another, leads to a lot of stress.

The following online article sheds light on why it is important to become aware of the Urgent versus Important four-quadrant theory. It provides useful suggestions to software developers on how to manage time more effectively.

Software teams must be clear about the functional requirements – both written specifications as well as unsaid expectations. Instead of rushing into coding, they must do a thorough design and have it reviewed internally by experienced architects. While writing code, a software developer must keep in mind unwritten expectations regarding usability, testability, scalability, portability and performance. Lack of attention to these details will result in a large number of defects in future. This is one of the root causes of an unrelenting series of urgent tasks, leading to stress at work.

This is what happens in our personal life too. We know that it is important to exercise regularly. But we don’t do it, and blame it on shortage of time. We realize that we must eat healthy food and on time, but end up having, pizza, samosas and cold drinks. When we fall ill, we end up paying an enormous cost – not just lost time but our health. Since we are aware of what’s good for us, surely we must find the time and inclination to achieve them?

Make a list of your current action items. Prioritize them into urgent, important and not so important, based on your personal and professional goals. You will see that several activities don’t need to be done at all, and some more that can be done only if you have the time.

Our product, Sapience, is like a mirror to your daily and weekly activities at work. It helps you analyze and change your work routine so that you can achieve more as a software developer with least amount of stress at work.

Write to us at  sales@sapienceanalytics.com and find out how Sapience can transform your own productivity at work, as well as that of your team.