While reading Steve McConnell’s Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art (ISBN 0-7356-0535-1, and excellent, BTW), I found a reference to the magnificently named “Goldratt’s ‘Student Syndrome'”, characterised in the book as:
If developers are given too much time, they’ll procrastinate until late in the project, at which point they’ll rush to complete their work, and they probably won’t finish the work on time.
It’s almost worth not finding out more about it just so I can invent my own inaccuracies. You can imagine the cooperative response of a teacher the first time the following note is received:
Please do not penalise Johnny for late submission of his assignment. He was unable to finish on time as he suffers from Goldratt’s Syndrome.
It might almost work, once. It obviously wouldn’t work if the rest of the class who also evince the syndrome tried their luck the same way.