Two-Hats or Two-Souls? The Perils of Over-Multitasking in Emcomm


Can an Emcomm Leader or Volunteer serve two or more “masters” effectively?

Is dual-hatting simply that, being qualified & roster-listed for multiple tasks, or is it an unresolvable conflict?

As a follow on to Emcomm Promises and Practicality, my previous Emcomm articles and recent discussions at various forums (eHam being one), the magnitude of the questioning of multi-hatting is very evident.

While admirable to be qualified and roster-listed for numerous Emcomm & EmGov roles, does it do the served agency, the Emcomm/EmGov group and the volunteer a deep disservice to have such deeply divided commitments?

In actually multi-tasking testing the usual claim is each similar intensity added task divides the resource into two 50% segments, each which loose about 30% further efficiency.  The result is a 35% or roughly 1/3rd accomplishment measured on the accomplishment axis of any one task.

Add another equal task and each task gets something like 1/8th accomplishment.

Pile on more and the numbers tend to reflect the “overload melt-down” we’ve all seen in people who take on too much.

Should we be applying the same sort of idea by “weighting” volunteers by the number of Emcomm/EmGov hats they wear?

What if the assignments are not equal?  Whether just timing by being called for another task first, or prioritization based on skills (EMT, Physician, Volunteer Fire Fighter, Reserve Police, Military Reservist), the Emcomm task we’re focused on may find its people unavailable.

What about dual-hatters who are ARES/RACES roster-listed, but are also active members of the Emergency components of the served agencies?  How do we account for their limitations?

Applied in reverse, it goes to suggest that needed roster resources need to be some number of times greater than the expected Emcomm tasking requirements.  The exact multiplier would depend on the local tendency to dual/multi-hat.

All ongoing tasks for a leader, to identify the force/strength reduction from dual-hats.  




Tagged , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: