Sunday, September 6, 2009

Share and choose

Working in a small team can be tricky at times. One of the first issues to arise is task allocation. The most intuitive approach understood by most people was codified by Hywell Dda in the laws of Wales and is known to most people as the principle of "one to share, the other to choose".

If you have never come across this approach, it's a treat and is particularly useful if you have children. Here's the deal: the first party allocates the tasks into two groups (or cuts the cake into two bits...); the second party then choses which group of tasks they want to do (or which slice of cake they want: bigger, more smarties on top etc).

This splitting puts a natural fairness control into the process. If the first party splits the work unfairly, they get lumbered with the worst / most work.

If there are more than two parties, then the work is allocated between groups in a iterative process until individuals are choosing.

Bags of fun.

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