Don’t forget Parkinson’s Law

Don't forget Parkinson's Law

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." - Cyril Parkinson

Many of us are familiar with Parkinson's Law, especially as it applies to meetings. (If you schedule a meeting for an hour, guess how long it will take to cover the agenda?)

But Parkinson's Law also applies to larger projects. For example, when I work with clients on system implementation, I always encourage them to do the least amount of "stuff" to get to go-live (aka MVP, or minimum viable product) so that we actually get to go-live as quickly as possible. The longer your go-live runway is, the more work you'll find to fill that time.

Of course, your MVP should probably match at least what you were able to do in your current system (though even that may not be true; sometimes we do things we shouldn't bother doing). But you should always be looking for ways to shorten the project time to go-live. The more "stuff" you want to accomplish for go-live, the longer you'll need to do it, and the farther out your go-live date will be.

Whether it's scheduling meetings, or planning a project, one should always keep Parkinson's law in mind.

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