What Can Your Team Learn from a Bike Shed?

Posted by rendsley on Sep 27, 2011 6:13 PM EDT
HP.com; By Rikki Kite
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In October 1999, Poul-Henning Kamp sent an email to the FreeBSD mailing list with the subject line A bike shed (any colour will do) on greener grass.... In that long note, he explained Parkinson's Law of Triviality, which is also known as bikeshedding or the bicycle-shed example.

Because of his position in the FreeBSD project at that time, Kamp was particularly annoyed by the pattern he was seeing, which is why he sent his thoughts to the email list. “You see it in politics, from national to school board and boy scout meetings,” he says, adding, “You see it in pretty much any meeting in a corporate context where somebody has a ladder to climb.”

What is bike shedding? And how can you keep it from throwing a wrench in your project?

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