Keep work from expanding to fill time in software development

Keep work from expanding to fill time in software development

Work expands to fill all time available for its completion

I’ve been thinking lately about time and deadlines. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You go to a meeting scheduled for an hour. A project decision is made in the first fifteen minutes, and the next forty-five minutes are spent discussing and re-hashing that decision…only to then settle on the original decision.
  • Your software team works in two week sprints yet seems to scramble in the last several days of each sprint to finish the bulk of the work.
  • In a project with a deadline months away, the requested feature list continues to change and grow while the deadline remains the same.

These examples are all instances of Parkinson’s Law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Read more