Parkinson’s Law 1. Work expands to fit the time available for its completion.

Not sure how I missed this little cracker! I can’t believe I haven’t heard of Parkinson’s Law before, what have I been doing? It reminds me of my own attempt at the same point last year …
… an altogether less succinct commentary. OK, longwinded rant at the same issue. Now if whatsthepont had added some Charles Lindblom and The Art of Muddling Through, together with this lovely law, I think that’s justification enough to be handing out MBAs just for reading one blog. In terms of usefulness in the real world, there is clearly equivalency. And I tutor the lost souls on several MBA programmes, it’s for the money, I’m not proud!

What's the PONT

I think this should be on the syllabus of every management development programme and business school around. It’s like one of those fundamental truths that get overlooked, because it’s slightly inconvenient and uncomfortable. I promised I’d write about this in the post on Bikeshedding , Parkinson’s Law of Triviality . It’s so relevant, even 60 years on, that it deserves a good airing.

Here’s a link to a copy of the original 1955 essay in The Economist, which I’d highly recommend reading.  The article opens with the quote “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”. This is based upon two underlying laws:

  1. The law of multiplication of subordinates; and
  2. The law of multiplication of work.

The basic theory is that an individual within a large administrative organisation will reach a point in their career where things start to get a bit ‘too much’ for them…

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