Brooks’ Law

What Does Brooks’ Law Mean?

Brooks’ Law refers to a well-known software development principle coined by Fred Brooks in The Mythical Man-Month. The law, “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later,” states that when a person is added to a project team, and the project is already late, the project time is longer, rather than shorter.


Techopedia Explains Brooks’ Law

Brooks’ law may be applied for two key reasons:

  1. "Ramp up" time, which is required by new project members for productivity because of the complex nature of software projects are complex. This takes existing resources (personnel) away from active development and places them in training roles.
  2. An increase in staff drives communication overhead, including the number and variety of communication channels.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…