Thursday, May 8, 2008

Book Review: Peopleware

For those who had no chance to read the book Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (second edition) by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister I really can only advice them to read it. At the first moment I was not sure if I want to read this book but now when I have finished it I am sure I will advice all who are interested to read it.

Although the book is by publishing date "old" in terms of IT development it is full of good advices. As I am supporter of Scrum I was pleasantly surprised that most of advices mentioned in the book are not "nice to have" but "must to have" features to successfully apply Scrum at your project. Book describes the most important aspect of every company, persons that work on the projects. Even Scrum applied by the book will fail if you don't use some common sense.

The book is divided into 6 parts.

Part I: Managing the Human Resources

This part if focused on how human resources should be or should not be managed in IT field. It describes how different is software development compared to development in factory. It also have a look on Parkinson's Law that time will stretch to fit the work concluding that the this Law is wrong. Very interesting chapter for all who has something with human resources.

Part II: The Office Environment

This part is focused how office environment should be organized to have productive developers. It also presents some statistical data how productivity decrease when environment is too noisy or does not fulfill some basic requirements. Everything mentioned here is true and mainly must be to have productive teams.

Part III: The Right People

For project to succeed it is not enough to have the best experts in corresponding fields. For project to succeed even more than the best experts available are right people. You will learn how to recognize and keep the right people within company.

Part IV: Growing Productive Teams

It is not enough to put n persons together and to expect that they will be productive. Productivity must be grown and only really good managers are capable of doing that. Read the chapter how to increase you chance to grow a productive team

Part V: It's Supposed to be Fun to Work Here

Work should be fun. Especially IT work should be fun. If people are not happy with their work you should look for problems within your company.

Part VI: Son of Peopleware

This is completely new part added to the original book (first edition). As authors mentioned first parts were written by young consultants that worked on project level. This part is written by older consultants that mainly worked on company organization level. Read this part to find out what have changed in their views compared to the previous five parts.

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