What We're Reading: Peopleware, by DeMarco & Lister

Amazon: Peopleware, Tom DeMarco & Tim Lister

This book is ostensibly about managing software development projects, but applies more broadly to all collaborative projects by knowledge workers.

The takeaways? Fewer meetings. Less interuptions. Protecting "flow" time. Quiet space. Smaller or private offices. Brain time vs. body time. Getting more done thru overtime is a myth. Intra-team competition destroys teams -- MBOs, performance reviews etc Considered Harmful (amazingly, Deming agreed - see p.183.) A great chapter (23) on successful team chemistry: cult of quality; lots of satisfying closure; sense of eliteness; encourage heterogeneity; protect successful teams; strategic not tactical direction.

Quoting Joel Spolsky:

Ever wonder why everybody at Microsoft gets their own office? Why managers give so much leeway to their teams? Why are there so many jelled teams that are remarkably productive? Mainly because Bill Gates has built a company full of managers who read Peopleware.


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