The Bike-Shed Effect

Bikeshedding: Placing too much importance on trivial things.

Today I found a blog post from a former Local Government colleague of mine, all about “bikeshedding”, or the Parkinson’s Law of Triviality to give it its official name.

Bikeshedding is a term to explain the phenomenon of focus being placed on a trivial part of an overall solution, while ignoring the main goal, or as Chantele puts it:

…too much effort is put in to areas that have little or no bearing on the functionality of the end product.

Parkinson’s Law of Triviality

As a developer I certainly have experienced that trivial little piece of functionality that wont go away, and as a manager I’ve seen this happening from time to time with my employees. I am very pleased that I’ve found a name for it.

Posted by Matt Watson

Matt Watson loves to talk about Health, Wealth and Code (mainly WordPress). Get in touch with Matt or follow Matt on Twitter to get notified about his latest posts.