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November 25, 2009

Comments

Michael

Personally I don't believe in Parkinson's Law on a task level. I work as a software developer and when I get a task that I can complete faster than was estimated I don't sit there and do nothing just because estimation would allow me to work e. g. 2 days longer on it. On a project level however I have the impression that there is never enough time to really complete a project. Most of the time a project is released before it really is done. I guess your law of late projects explains that now.

So I would say the following is true:

If there is more time than needed to complete the work, the work is delivered earlier.

If there is less time than needed to complete the work, the work will be delivered unfinished (maybe polished a bit to hide that it is unfinished) and project management will accept all risks because they are only measured if they deliver something on time.

Igoro

It is an interesting view ... but differs from what I've seen in my experience.

The reason for the "infinite expansion" of work is that no project ever gets to the point where there is nothing to improve:

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4. etc., etc.

Once a project is declared "complete", manager's thoughts are usually with the features the team didn't implement, the bugs that were closed without fixes, the performance issues in rare scenarios, etc.

She understands (or at least should understand) that if the deadline was a month sooner, most of the difference would be made up by even harder functionality cuts, rather than by developers working longer hours.

Igor Ostrovsky
-- https://igoro.com/

Boris Liberman

Fascinating article. Thanks for posting it. I have posted a link to it in my 'other' blog, unless you object and instruct me to remove it.

From my limited experience in the industry what you say is at least statistically correct.

Bruno Cassol

The inverse Parkinson's law also work, and sometimes it does so 200%:

"A client expands its feature list to occupy all the planned time of the project. Most even go beyond and ask for features that often make the schedule impossible.

There's nothing wrong with it, its just the client's job: maximize value in the product they are buying.

Its up to you and your contract to educate the clients.

parkinson illness

Most of the time a project is released before it really is done. I guess your law of late projects explains that now.

Vimax

If there is added time than bare to complete the work, the assignment is delivered earlier.

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