Parkinson’s Law

Work complicates to fill the available time.

The interesting thing is that Parkinson based this on research. When studying the British Navy, he found that although the number of colonies was decreasing, the Officialdom kept growing.

The promotion of officials requires the hiring of subordinates; and officials make more work for one another by writing minutes (micro-politics).

As committees grow in size, they become irrelevant

Committees may start out small, then grow in size to the point where they become ineffective and then are abandoned.

Parkinson gives a few historical examples.

He found that with members more than “between 19.9 and 22.4” the group becomes ineffective. The ideal number is unclear but must lie somewhere between three and 20.