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Do you know about Parkinson’s Law

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SimplyPHP, Do you know about Parkinson's Law
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If not, go read about it now, because you may be a victim of it in your job!

According to the BBC, Parkinson’s Law comes from an old adage: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Wondering how this applies to development? It’s simple. Imagine you’re given a task to complete with a due date in 30 days. After you study it, you plan to have it completed within two weeks. However, most of the time, it takes nearly four weeks to complete.

Can you think of a situation where you were given a deadline that seemed way too tight, but you ended up making it work? Deadlines do something to our psyche, and we’ve been trained to always respect them.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a great development manager, they might be giving you due dates that are very close to being unreasonable because they know you can do it. Conversely, if your manager has never touched a piece of code, like some shareholders, they may be imposing unrealistic deadlines and stressing everyone out, which in turn affects the quality of their final product. Sound familiar?

Everyone must be aware of Parkinson’s Law, so they can learn how to create reasonable deadlines. Obviously, you (the developers) want to work in a stress-free environment as much as possible. At the same time, you want to be challenged, so use common sense when thinking about this law and what it says about our relationship to deadlines.