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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 3rd Edition

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  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 6-1/8" x 9-3/16"
  • Pages: 272
  • Edition: 3rd
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-344072-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-344072-0

Few books in computing have had as profound an influence on software management as Peopleware. The unique insight of this longtime best seller is that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. They’re not easy issues; but solve them, and you’ll maximize your chances of success.

Peopleware has long been one of my two favorite books on software engineering. Its underlying strength is its base of immense real experience, much of it quantified. Many, many varied projects have been reflected on and distilled; but what we are given is not just lifeless distillate, but vivid examples from which we share the authors’ inductions. Their premise is right: most software project problems are sociological, not technological. The insights on team jelling and work environment have changed my thinking and teaching. The third edition adds strength to strength.”

— Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Kenan Professor of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Author of The Mythical Man-Month and The Design of Design

Peopleware is the one book that everyone who runs a software team needs to read and reread once a year. In the quarter century since the first edition appeared, it has become more important, not less, to think about the social and human issues in software develop¿ment. This is the only way we’re going to make more humane, productive workplaces. Buy it, read it, and keep a stock on hand in the office supply closet.”

—Joel Spolsky, Co-founder, Stack Overflow

“When a book about a field as volatile as software design and use extends to a third edition, you can be sure that the authors write of deep principle, of the fundamental causes for what we readers experience, and not of the surface that everyone recognizes. And to bring people, actual human beings, into the mix! How excellent. How rare. The authors have made this third edition, with its additions, entirely terrific.”

—Lee Devin and Rob Austin, Co-authors of The Soul of Design and Artful Making

For this third edition, the authors have added six new chapters and updated the text throughout, bringing it in line with today’s development environments and challenges. For example, the book now discusses pathologies of leadership that hadn’t previously been judged to be pathological; an evolving culture of meetings; hybrid teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. Anyone who needs to manage a software project or software organization will find invaluable advice throughout the book.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Preface xv

About the Authors xvii

Part I: Managing the Human Resource 1

Chapter 1: Somewhere Today, a Project Is Failing 3

The Name of the Game 4

The High-Tech Illusion 5

Chapter 2: Make a Cheeseburger, Sell a Cheeseburger 7

A Quota for Errors 8

Management: The Bozo Definition 8

The People Store 9

A Project in Steady State Is Dead 10

We Haven’t Got Time to Think about This Job, Only to Do It 11

Chapter 3: Vienna Waits for You 13

Spanish Theory Management 13

And Now a Word from the Home Front 14

There Ain’t No Such Thing as Overtime 15

Workaholics 15

Productivity: Winning Battles and Losing Wars 16

Reprise 17

Chapter 4: Quality—If Time Permits 19

The Flight from Excellence 20

Quality Is Free, But . . . 22

Power of Veto 23

Chapter 5: Parkinson’s Law Revisited 25

Parkinson’s Law and Newton’s Law 25

You Wouldn’t Be Saying This If You’d Ever Met Our Herb 26

Some Data from the University of New South Wales 27

Variation on a Theme by Parkinson 29

Chapter 6: Laetrile 31

Lose Fat While Sleeping 31

The Seven Sirens 32

This Is Management 34

Part II: The Office Environment 35

Chapter 7: The Furniture Police 37

The Police Mentality 38

The Uniform Plastic Basement 38

Chapter 8: “You Never Get Anything Done around Here between 9 and 5.” 41

A Policy of Default 42

Coding War Games: Observed Productivity Factors 43

Individual Differences 44

Productivity Nonfactors 45

You May Want to Hide This from Your Boss 46

Effects of the Workplace 47

What Did We Prove? 48

Chapter 9: Saving Money on Space 49

A Plague upon the Land 50

We Interrupt This Diatribe to Bring You a Few Facts 51

Workplace Quality and Product Quality 52

A Discovery of Nobel Prize Significance 53

Hiding Out 54

Intermezzo: Productivity Measurement and Unidentified Flying Objects 57

Gilb’s Law 58

But You Can’t Afford Not to Know 59

Measuring with Your Eyes Closed 59

Chapter 10: Brain Time versus Body Time 61

Flow 61

An Endless State of No-Flow 62

Time Accounting Based on Flow 63

The E-Factor 64

A Garden of Bandannas 65

Thinking on the Job 65

Chapter 11: The Telephone 67

Visit to an Alternate Reality 67

Tales from the Crypt 69

A Modified Telephone Ethic 70

Incompatible Multitasking 71

Chapter 12: Bring Back the Door 73

The Show Isn’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings 73

The Issue of Glitz 74

Creative Space 75

Vital Space 76

Breaking the Corporate Mold 77

Chapter 13: Taking Umbrella Steps 79

Alexander’s Concept of Organic Order 80

Patterns 82

The First Pattern: Tailored Work Space from a Kit 84

The Second Pattern: Windows 84

The Third Pattern: Indoor and Outdoor Space 87

The Fourth Pattern: Public Space 87

The Pattern of the Patterns 88

Return to Reality 88

Part III: The Right People 91

Chapter 14: The Hornblower Factor 93

Born versus Made 93

The Uniform Plastic Person 94

Standard Dress 95

Code Word: Professional 96

Corporate Entropy 96

Chapter 15: Let’s Talk about Leadership 99

Leadership as a Work-Extraction Mechanism 99

Leadership as a Service 100

Leadership and Innovation 101

Leadership: The Talk and the Do 102

Chapter 16: Hiring a Juggler 103

The Portfolio 104

Aptitude Tests (Erghhhh) 105

Holding an Audition 105

Chapter 17: Playing Well with Others 109

First, the Benefits 109

Food Magic 110

Yes, But . . . 110

Chapter 18: Childhood’s End 113

Technology—and Its Opposite 113

Continuous Partial Attention 114

Articulate the Contract 114

Yesterday’s Killer App 115

Chapter 19: Happy to Be Here 117

Turnover: The Obvious Costs 117

The Hidden Costs of Turnover 118

Why People Leave 120

A Special Pathology: The Company Move 120

The Mentality of Permanence 122

Chapter 20: Human Capital 125

How About People? 126

So Who Cares? 127

Assessing the Investment in Human Capital 127

What Is the Ramp-Up Time for an Experienced Worker? 129

Playing Up to Wall Street 130

Part IV: Growing Productive Teams 131

Chapter 21: The Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts 133

Concept of the Jelled Team 133

Management by Hysterical Optimism 134

The Guns of Navarone 135

Signs of a Jelled Team 136

Teams and Cliques 137

Chapter 22: The Black Team 139

The Stuff of Which Legends Are Made 139

Pitiful Earthlings, What Can Save You Now? 140

Footnote 141

Chapter 23: Teamicide 143

Defensive Management 144

Bureaucracy 146

Physical Separation 146

Fragmentation of Time 147

The Quality-Reduced Product 147

Phony Deadlines 148

Clique Control 149

Once More Over the Same Depressing Ground 149

Chapter 24: Teamicide Revisited 151

Those Damn Posters and Plaques 151

Overtime: An Unanticipated Side Effect 152

Chapter 25: Competition 155

Consider an Analogy 155

Does It Matter? The Importance of Coaching 156

Teamicide Re-revisited 157

Mixing Metaphors 158

Chapter 26: A Spaghetti Dinner 159

Team Effects Beginning to Happen 159

What’s Been Going On Here? 160

Chapter 27: Open Kimono 161

Calling In Well 161

The Getaway Ploy 163

There Are Rules and We Do Break Them 164

Chickens with Lips 165

Who’s in Charge Here? 165

Chapter 28: Chemistry for Team Formation 167

The Cult of Quality 168

I Told Her I Loved Her When I Married Her 169

The Elite Team 169

On Not Breaking Up the Yankees 171

A Network Model of Team Behavior 171

Selections from a Chinese Menu 172

Putting It All Together 172

Part V: Fertile Soil 173

Chapter 29: The Self-Healing System 175

Deterministic and Nondeterministic Systems 175

The Covert Meaning of Methodology 176

Methodology Madness 177

The Issue of Malicious Compliance 179

The Baby and the Bathwater 179

The High-Tech Illusion Revisited 180

Chapter 30: Dancing with Risk 183

Not Running Away from Risk 183

The One Risk We Almost Never Manage 184

Why Nonperformance Risks Often Don’t Get Managed 185

Chapter 31: Meetings, Monologues, and Conversations 187

Neuro-sclerosis 187

The “Technologically Enhanced” Meeting 188

Stand-Up Meetings 188

Basic Meeting Hygiene 189

Ceremonies 189

Too Many People 190

Open-Space Networking 190

Prescription for Curing a Meeting-Addicted Organization 191

Chapter 32: The Ultimate Management Sin Is . . . 193

For Instance 193

Status Meetings Are About Status 194

Early Overstaffing 194

Fragmentation Again 196

Respecting Your Investment 197

Chapter 33: E(vil) Mail 199

In Days of Yore 199

Corporate Spam 200

What Does “FYI” Even Mean? 200

Is This an Open Organization or a Commune? 201

Repeal Passive Consent 201

Building a Spam-less Self-Coordinating Organization 202

Chapter 34: Making Change Possible 203

And Now, a Few Words from Another Famous Consultant 203

That’s a Swell Idea, Boss. I’ll Get Right on It. 205

A Better Model of Change 206

Safety First 208

Chapter 35: Organizational Learning 211

Experience and Learning 211

A Redesign Example 212

The Key Question About Organizational Learning 213

The Management Team 214

Danger in the White Space 215

Chapter 36: The Making of Community 217

Digression on Corporate Politics 218

Why It Matters 219

Pulling Off the Magic 220

Part VI: It’s Supposed to Be Fun to Work Here 221

Chapter 37: Chaos and Order 223

Progress Is Our Most Important Problem 223

Pilot Projects 224

War Games 226

Brainstorming 228

Training, Trips, Conferences, Celebrations, and Retreats 228

Chapter 38: Free Electrons 231

The Cottage-Industry Phenomenon 231

Fellows, Gurus, and Intrapreneurs 232

No Parental Guidance 233

Chapter 39: Holgar Dansk 235

But Why Me? 235

The Sleeping Giant 236

Waking Up Holgar 237

Index 239


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