Generalizing Brooks’ law - Deepstash
Productivity Systems

Learn more about leadershipandmanagement with this collection

How to set achievable goals

How to create and stick to a schedule

How to break down large projects into smaller manageable tasks

Productivity Systems

Discover 46 similar ideas in

It takes just

6 mins to read

Generalizing Brooks’ law

Brooks' law can be expanded in three ways to generalize it and consider it in other contexts.

  • Brooks's law can be applied to other endeavours such as different types of business, academic, and hobby projects.
  • Brook's law can be applied to negative outcomes other than delays. E.g., adding people to a software project might lead to a worse product or increased conflicts between team members.
  • Brook's law can be applied to resources other than manpower. For example, adding money to a certain project might not lead to it finishing faster because spending more money doesn't address the real problem.


71 reads


How to account for Brooks’ law

  • To account for Brooks's law, you should avoid assuming that adding more resources to a project will help.
  • Assess whether you should add resources, how many and in what way.
  • Consider how adding more resources can help


54 reads

Adding unnecessary resources

Adding unnecessary resources

If someone else in your organization insists on adding more resources, consider doing the following:

  • Ask them to explain their reasoning, and explain the flaws in it.
  • Explain to them why it’s a bad idea, potentially while mentioning Brooks’ law.
  • Help them find an altern...


46 reads

Brooks’ law

Brooks’ law

Brooks’ law is the observation that “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later”.

Applied wider, this principle shows that adding more resources, especially people, to various types of projects is often unhelpful and counterproductive.


166 reads

Humorous statements associated with Brooks’ law

Humorous statements associated with Brooks’ law

  • “Nine women can’t make a baby in one month”
  • “You get water by digging one well a hundred feet deep, not a hundred wells one foot deep”
  • “What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months”.


107 reads

Examples of Brooks’ law

A classic example of Brooks’ law is a software project behind schedule. This leads management to allocate more developers to it, which causes further delays because it takes time to train the new developers.

Another example is a project that could be handled quickly by a small team but is d...


93 reads

Caveat about Brooks’ law

Whether or not Brooks' law applies in a situation depends on various factors, such as:

  • The attributes of the people working on the project - their ability and willingness to teach others.
  • The attributes of the people who are being added to the project - their ability and willin...


50 reads

Rationale behind Brooks’ law

Rationale behind Brooks’ law

  • Adding more people to a project doesn't mean it will be completed faster.
  • People who are already working on the project must spend time training newcomers.
  • It takes time for new people to join the project to become productive.
  • Time is spent on communication rather tha...


60 reads




Social media evangelist. Coffee maven.

Related collections

More like this

The importance of empathy

Envy-inspired behaviors are more likely in contexts that make empathy difficult, such as where there’s competition. In addition, it’s often the source of prejudice. Envious people might say, “he’s not supposed to be so successful; I’ve worked far harder than he h...


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates