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Parkinson's Law


Tommy Van de Wouwer believes that the smell of a deadline in the morning helps to achieve results in many ways. We all know the feeling: one day the deadline is weeks/months away and then suddenly, as if time magically changes, the deadline is only days ahead. Cyril Northcote Parkinson mentioned it already in 1955 with his opening sentence for Parkinson's Law in the economist “It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” We also know this as the student syndrome or procrastination, as you can see there are many names for this behavior and almost everybody is still falling for that same trap. Now how can we solve this in a project context? I think there is no real solution but regularly making sure there is a deadline nearby… Agile methodologies tend to have this flow with daily stand-up meetings, 2-weekly deliveries of a working product, closeness of the product owner… This certainly helps to have a constant feeling of urgency, and proudness if a product is delivered. On the other hand real innovation comes from day dreaming, feeling inspired when traveling, meeting people, and getting experiences. Productivity is more about delivering what is dreamed up before. In our current world we build too much and dream too little but that is for another blog post.

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Subject Matter

Agile ProcessUser InvolvementExecution

About the Contributor:

Attributed Author

Tommy Van de Wouwer

Tommy Van de Wouwer lives in Belgium and is an IT project manager and team leader for support delivery during the last 15 years. He holds an active PMI PMP certificate and believes in life long learning. After his Bachelor degree in information management he earned associate degrees in IT development, IT network management and corporate communication, followed by an ongoing Executive Master IT management at the Antwerp Management school. The main focus of Tommy is on collaboration and (think) out of the box solutions, thus delivering more value to the end customers.
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