How Much Time is Enough Time

Tuesday, 25 Apr, 2017

If you’re assigning tasks, how much time should you give?

I manage projects for a living, whether it’s the big meta project of my company eSolia or, the various projects I run for my clients. One rule that you could do worse than to burn into your brain, is “Parkinson’s Law”. It’s the rule that states that work will always expand into the time alloted. The exact quote is:

work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

That is, the same work will take a week if given a week, or two weeks, if given two weeks.

Of course, you can’t be brain-dead about deadlines. Activities take the time they take, and you need to listen to the experts on your team. Just because you think you’d like something to take less time, the best practice of a thing may simply require a certain amount of time.

After all, you can’t speed up a pregnancy by putting 9 women on the job (but that’s another story).

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