Why investing enough time rules

The Parkinson's Law (basically) states:
work expands to fill the time available
I already wrote about it earlier here.

Introduction: When I got notice of the Parkinson's Law the first time I already had a feeling in the belly that usage of this rule is counter productive and I will not adopt it. However, I found out in the meantime: I am already using Parkinson's Law! - Why? - We have a baby! So, since about 9 months my time for new private projects is from zero to one hour a day maximum. Although he is sleeping sometimes longer in the afternoon or plays alone there are other things like housekeeping to do in this time. And further my wife is not working yet and hence has more time she wants to spend with me. So time for other projects or hobbies is reduced to an absolute minimum. The hobbies I can do most is photography because I can take pictures from our son while looking after him. Many people strongly recommend to shoot in raw and postprocess images on the computer. And for this I simply do not have time. I can be happy if I have time to sort them out and put some on the internet.

The minimal use of Parkinson's law: Reducing the available time and/or budget by a nonessential amount can indeed increase productivity because people then are cutting off the unnecessary things. So this helps avoiding bloated projects. People may also find smarter solutions for an existing problem. But important here is: Continuously reducing time/budget a little is the same as extreme usage of Parkinson's law!

The extreme use of Parkinson's law: Reducing the available time and/or budget by an essential amount will freeze the project! Reducing available time in general or increasing open projects or to-dos by an essential number leads to giving up on all (bigger) projects. In the extreme - what can't be done in an hour or in one (business) day must be dropped. When looking at time and budget separately you can reduce time significantly by investing more money sometimes - sometimes. With a minimum of available time/budget people usually tend to start doing something immediately to solve the problem but usually do not do (any) planning. This increases the probability of total escalation.

Not use Parkinson's law and doing the opposite: On the other hand when increasing available time and/or budget for a project then people can be more creative.

Simple sample: If you have only very little time to furnish your apartment then you will have no time to look at different shops and take the first and/or cheapest things you see. If you have enough time then you can develop ideas for smart solutions how to use the available space in your home. You will feel better and your home will be more functional and prettier.

Enough time means that people use enough time to plan and find smart solutions. And if people find smarter solutions during work (because of their experiences in a new realm of work) they have time and money buffers to implement changes to get the smarter solution. Enough time means improved quality and improved creativity. And if there is really no more time needed to improve quality any more then people may be so creative to invent new products for similar problems. Imagine what type of car you would have if companies wouldn't invest enough time into research and development...

But there is a prerequisite that is needed to make it work increasing quality by increasing time: You need your workers to be motivated! Otherwise they will use the more time doing other things than improving the quality.

Related post: Parkinson's Law and quality, Urging to forge at full speed.

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