Play Video
1
Katie Jacobsen - Parkinson
Katie Jacobsen - Parkinson's Law of Triviality -- No, really, it IS interesting!
::2012/12/13::
Play Video
2
What is Parkinson
What is Parkinson's Law?
::2013/05/19::
Play Video
3
Bike Shed
Bike Shed
::2014/04/20::
Play Video
4
What is Parkinson
What is Parkinson's Law?
::2014/04/23::
Play Video
5
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law explained in 1 minute.
::2013/04/23::
Play Video
6
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law: Time Management for Students
::2012/10/06::
Play Video
7
Time Management - Parkinson
Time Management - Parkinson's Law
::2013/09/03::
Play Video
8
GP 5 - Parkinsons Law: How to Get Twice as Much Done Everyday!
GP 5 - Parkinsons Law: How to Get Twice as Much Done Everyday!
::2012/02/07::
Play Video
9
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law
::2012/08/09::
Play Video
10
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law
::2010/07/11::
Play Video
11
Parkinson
Parkinson's law - explained
::2012/08/16::
Play Video
12
Productivity Tip: Parkinson
Productivity Tip: Parkinson's Law
::2013/01/26::
Play Video
13
Make Parkinson
Make Parkinson's Law Work For You!
::2013/02/21::
Play Video
14
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law
::2012/04/09::
Play Video
15
On The PROFOUND Parkinson
On The PROFOUND Parkinson's Law and A Key to Productivity - Quick Thought #572
::2013/11/11::
Play Video
16
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law - Daughter Of Thunder And Lightning
::2012/07/11::
Play Video
17
Parkinson
Parkinson's Law
::2013/03/09::
Play Video
18
On Parkinson
On Parkinson's Law and the Physics of Life - Quick Thought #476
::2013/08/01::
Play Video
19
Business Moms: Time Management 101!  The Power Of Parkinson
Business Moms: Time Management 101! The Power Of Parkinson's Law
::2011/07/11::
Play Video
20
Jayz TV: Parkinson
Jayz TV: Parkinson's Law - Episode #40
::2010/11/30::
Play Video
21
Falling Prey to Parkinson
Falling Prey to Parkinson's Law
::2008/10/22::
Play Video
22
On Parkinson
On Parkinson's Law and Time Management- Quick Thought #81
::2012/04/23::
Play Video
23
Procrastination and Parkinson
Procrastination and Parkinson's Law.mov
::2010/10/07::
Play Video
24
Living with Parkinson
Living with Parkinson's - Christmas Special
::2012/12/16::
Play Video
25
The Amazing Spiderman, Parkinson and Dopamine
The Amazing Spiderman, Parkinson and Dopamine
::2012/12/09::
Play Video
26
Parkinson:  Mind, Mood & Memory Capt. 3 (excerpts)
Parkinson: Mind, Mood & Memory Capt. 3 (excerpts)
::2013/12/01::
Play Video
27
P4A Parkinson
P4A Parkinson's UK
::2012/12/17::
Play Video
28
Parkinson:  Mind, Mood & Memory ch.2 continued
Parkinson: Mind, Mood & Memory ch.2 continued
::2013/11/23::
Play Video
29
Parkinson: Mind, Mood, Memory Ch.1 (excerpts)
Parkinson: Mind, Mood, Memory Ch.1 (excerpts)
::2013/11/10::
Play Video
30
frank and dennis - boxing benefits parkinson
frank and dennis - boxing benefits parkinson's
::2012/12/19::
Play Video
31
Probleme bei der Medikamenteneinstellung bei Parkinson
Probleme bei der Medikamenteneinstellung bei Parkinson
::2012/12/05::
Play Video
32
The 80 20 Rule Pareto Principle Why the 80 20 Rule Doesn
The 80 20 Rule Pareto Principle Why the 80 20 Rule Doesn't Work
::2013/05/23::
Play Video
33
Managing Daily Priorities, The Trivial Many vs. The Vital Few  "edited" (Time Management)
Managing Daily Priorities, The Trivial Many vs. The Vital Few "edited" (Time Management)
::2010/11/30::
Play Video
34
GP6 - Occam
GP6 - Occam's Law: The Simplest Solution
::2012/02/08::
Play Video
35
How to get rich by breaking the law
How to get rich by breaking the law
::2012/03/01::
Play Video
36
Juran
Juran's Pareto Principle
::2008/12/02::
Play Video
37
Reading Speed - Brain Exercises To Improve Memory
Reading Speed - Brain Exercises To Improve Memory
::2012/08/23::
Play Video
38
The Importance of Being Earnest (Act 3) - Sir John Gielgud, Dame Edith Evans
The Importance of Being Earnest (Act 3) - Sir John Gielgud, Dame Edith Evans
::2013/02/11::
Play Video
39
armory 1-2 002.avi
armory 1-2 002.avi
::2010/06/11::
Play Video
40
#Anon #Newz EXPOSED_ Child Labour Camp in Australia 2012 and Our Gutless Gov Does Nothing.
#Anon #Newz EXPOSED_ Child Labour Camp in Australia 2012 and Our Gutless Gov Does Nothing.
::2012/03/01::
Play Video
41
Project 3 80/20 Rule
Project 3 80/20 Rule
::2010/10/19::
Play Video
42
Katie Jacobsen
Katie Jacobsen
::2014/02/19::
Play Video
43
The 80/20 Rule of Content Marketing
The 80/20 Rule of Content Marketing
::2010/11/17::
Play Video
44
Jazmin!
Jazmin!
::2008/01/20::
Play Video
45
The Snapper - Hey Burgess snip snip
The Snapper - Hey Burgess snip snip
::2010/03/10::
Play Video
46
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 Rule
::2010/02/08::
Play Video
47
Response to Iralon concerning the extent of the Worldliness of Consciousness
Response to Iralon concerning the extent of the Worldliness of Consciousness
::2010/01/07::
Play Video
48
Gold Coast Meter Maids become Alcohol Awareness Angels
Gold Coast Meter Maids become Alcohol Awareness Angels
::2013/01/06::
Play Video
49
Mrs Brown
Mrs Brown's Christmas Sing-A-Long - Mrs Brown's Boys - Christmas Special - BBC One
::2011/12/14::
NEXT >>
RESULTS [50 .. 100]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Color of the bike shed)
Jump to: navigation, search
"Bicycle shed" and "Bike shed" redirect here. For the physical structure, see Shed.

Parkinson's law of triviality, also known as bikeshedding, bike-shed effect, or the bicycle-shed example, is C. Northcote Parkinson's 1957 argument that organizations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Parkinson observed and illustrated that a committee whose job is to approve plans for a nuclear power plant spent the majority of its time with pointless discussions on relatively trivial and unimportant but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike-shed, while neglecting the less-trivial proposed design of the nuclear power plant itself, which is far more important but also a far more difficult and complex task to criticize constructively.

The law has been applied to software development[1] and other activities, and the term "bikeshedding" was coined as a metaphor to illuminate Parkinson’s Law of Triviality and was popularized in the Berkeley Software Distribution community by Poul Henning-Kamp[2] and has spread from there to the software industry at large.

Argument[edit]

The concept was first presented as a corollary of his broader "Parkinson's law" spoof of management. He dramatizes this "law of triviality" with the example of a committee's deliberations on an atomic reactor, contrasting it to deliberations on a bicycle shed. As he put it: "The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved." A reactor is used because it is so vastly expensive and complicated that an average person cannot understand it, so one assumes that those that work on it understand it. On the other hand, everyone can visualize a cheap, simple bicycle shed, so planning one can result in endless discussions because everyone involved wants to add a touch and show personal contribution.[3]

Problems exist when you suggest building something new for your community, like a bike-shed, and then everybody begins argue about its color, and in the end no bike-shed will even be built. The point when someone brings up bikeshedding is that just because you are capable of building a bikeshed does not mean you should stop others from building one just because you do not like the materials that will be used or the color they plan to paint it. This is a metaphor indicating that you need not argue about every little feature just because you know enough to do so, as it better to first just build bike-shed, something trivial like the color can easily be talked about or changed later. Some people have commented that the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change.[4]

Thus bikeshedding involves discussions about relatively unimportant issues which result in extensive debate. It may be the result of individuals who wish to contribute feeling that they do not have the knowledge or expertise to contribute on more significant issues. Bikeshedding can result in discussions that, whilst on-topic, nevertheless effectively drown out other discussions on more significant issues. On the other hand, it also suggests that community leaders might need to consider how they can better assist and/or support those with less knowledge and expertise to contribute to the community in possibly more productive ways.

Although discussion can meander in any topic, the probability of meandering goes up as the technical difficulty of the topic goes down. After all, the greater the technical difficulty, the fewer participants can really follow what's going on. Those who can are likely to be the most experienced developers, who have already taken part in such discussions thousands of times before, and know what sort of behavior is likely to lead to a consensus everyone can live with.

Thus, consensus is hardest to achieve in technical questions that are simple to understand and easy to have an opinion about, and in "soft" topics such as organization, publicity, funding, etc. People can participate in those arguments forever, because there are no qualifications necessary for doing so, no clear ways to decide (even afterward) if a decision was right or wrong, and because simply out-waiting other discussants is sometimes a successful tactic.

The principle that the amount of discussion is inversely proportional to the complexity of the topic has been around for a long time, and is known informally as the Bikeshed Effect. This causes decision paralysis what many people do not realize is that the bike-shed effect is, in fact, also a form of procrastination. And it can suck in highly technical developers, along with everyone else.

To many, diagnosis is the first step towards treatment. Simply by identifying a discussion as a "bike-shed", much of the energy that has been spent in the discussion can be dissipated. Problems arise when there is not agreement over whether something is a major consideration or a minor detail.

When governance meetings devolve into two cents' worth[edit]

In the third chapter, "High Finance, or the Point of Vanishing Interest", Parkinson writes about a finance committee meeting with a three-item agenda.[5]

The first is the signing of a £10 million contract to build a reactor, the second a proposal to build a £350 bicycle shed for the clerical staff, and the third proposes £21 a year to supply refreshments for the Joint Welfare Committee.

The £10 million number is too big and too technical, and it passes in two and a half minutes.

The bicycle shed is a subject understood by the board, and the amount within their life experience, so committee member Mr. Softleigh says that an aluminium roof is too expensive and they should use asbestos. Mr. Holdfast wants galvanized iron. Mr. Daring questions the need for the shed at all. Mr. Holdfast disagrees.

Parkinson then writes: "The debate is fairly launched. A sum of £350 is well within everybody's comprehension. Everyone can visualize a bicycle shed. Discussion goes on, therefore, for forty-five minutes, with the possible result of saving some £50. Members at length sit back with a feeling of accomplishment."

Parkinson then described the third agenda item, writing: "There may be members of the committee who might fail to distinguish between asbestos and galvanized iron, but every man there knows about coffee – what it is, how it should be made, where it should be bought – and whether indeed it should be bought at all. This item on the agenda will occupy the members for an hour and a quarter, and they will end by asking the Secretary to procure further information, leaving the matter to be decided at the next meeting."[6]

Related principles and formulations[edit]

There are several other principles, well known in specific problem domains, which express a similar sentiment.

Another, applied, example is the duck technique in corporate programming: a programmer expects their corporate office to insist on a change to something (anything at all) on every presentation to show that they're participating, so a programmer adds an element they expect corporate to remove on purpose. Quoted from Jeff Atwood's blog, Coding Horror:[8]

This started as a piece of corporate lore at Interplay Entertainment. It was well known that producers (a game industry position roughly equivalent to project manager) had to make a change to everything that was done. The assumption was that subconsciously they felt that if they didn't, they weren't adding value.

The artist working on the queen animations for Battle Chess was aware of this tendency, and came up with an innovative solution. He did the animations for the queen the way that he felt would be best, with one addition: he gave the queen a pet duck. He animated this duck through all of the queen's animations, had it flapping around the corners. He also took great care to make sure that it never overlapped the "actual" animation.

Eventually, it came time for the producer to review the animation set for the queen. The producer sat down and watched all of the animations. When they were done, he turned to the artist and said, "That looks great. Just one thing: get rid of the duck."

The law has been misquoted as the "colour of the bike shed" effect,[9] although in Parkinson's discussion the issue related to the construction of the bicycle shed, with no reference to its colour.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kamp, Poul-Henning (2 Oct 1999). "Why Should I Care What Color the Bikeshed Is?". Frequently Asked Questions for FreeBSD 7.X, 8.X, and 9.X. FreeBSD. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ http://phk.freebsd.dk/sagas/bikeshed.html The Bikeshed email
  3. ^ Forsyth, Donelson R (2009). Group Dynamics (5th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-495-59952-4. 
  4. ^ http://bikeshed.com Why Should I Care What Color the Bikeshed Is?
  5. ^ Parkinson, C. Northcote (1958). Parkinson's Law, or the Pursuit of Progress. John Murray. 
  6. ^ Parkinson's Law – and other studies in administration by C. Northcote Parkinson, Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, third edition 1957 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 57-9981 pages 29–30
  7. ^ "Wadler's Law". HaskellWiki. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  8. ^ New Programming Jargon, Coding Horror, Accessed 7-20-2012.
  9. ^ Oliver Burkeman (2011). Help!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done. Canongate Books. p. 241. ISBN 9780857860408. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project, O'Reilly, 2005, ISBN 0-596-00759-0, "Bikeshed Effect" pp. 135, 261–268 (also online)
  • Grace Budrys, Planning for the nation's health: a study of twentieth-century developments in the United States, Greenwood Press, 1986, ISBN 0-313-25348-X, p. 81 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Bob Burton et al., Nuclear Power, Pollution and Politics, Routledge, 1990, ISBN 0-415-03065-X, p. ix (see extract at Google Books)
  • Darren Chamberlain et al., Perl Template Toolkit, O'Reilly, 2004, ISBN 0-596-00476-1, p. 412 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Donelson R. Forsyth, Group Dynamics, Brooks/Cole, 1990, ISBN 0-534-08010-3, p. 289 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Henry Bosch, The Director at Risk: Accountability in the Boardroom, Allen & Unwin, 1995, ISBN 0-7299-0325-7, p. 92 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Brian Clegg, Crash Course in Personal Development, Kogan Page, 2002, ISBN 0-7494-3832-0, p. 3 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Richard M. Hodgetts, Management: Theory, Process, and Practice, Saunders, 1979, ISBN 0-7216-4714-6, p. 115 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Journal, v. 37–38 1975–1980, Chartered Institute of Transport, p. 187 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Russell D. Archibald, Managing High-Technology Programs and Projects, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, ISBN 0-471-26557-8, p. 37 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Kishor Bhagwati, Managing Safety: A Guide for Executives, Wiley-VCH, 2007, ISBN 3-527-60959-8, p. 54 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Jan Pen, Harmony and Conflict in Modern Society, (Trans. Trevor S. Preston) McGraw–Hill, 1966 p. 195 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Derek Salman Pugh et al., Great Writers on Organizations, Dartmouth, 1993, ISBN 1-85521-383-4, p. 116 (see extract at Google Books)
  • The Federal Accountant v. 13 (9/63–6/64), Association of Government Accountants, Federal Government Accountants Association, Cornell University Graduate School of Business and Public Administration, p. 16 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Al Kelly, How to Make Your Life Easier at Work, McGraw–Hill, 1988, ISBN 0-07-034015-3, p. 127 (see extract at Google Books)
  • Henry Mintzberg, Power in and Around Organizations: Dynamic Techniques of Winning, Prentice–Hall, 1983, ISBN 0-13-686857-6, p. 75 (see extract at Google Books)
  • The Building Services Engineer v.40 1972–1973, Institution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (Great Britain), Chartered Institution of Building Services (see extract at Google Books)
  • Charles Hampden-Turner, Gentlemen and Tradesmen: The Values of Economic Catastrophe, Routledge, 1983, ISBN 0-7100-9579-1, p. 151 (see extract at Google Books)

External links[edit]

Wikipedia content is licensed under the GFDL License
Powered by YouTube
LEGAL
  • Mashpedia © 2014