- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated; 2nd edition (February 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0932633439
- ISBN-13: 978-0932633439
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (Second Edition) Paperback – February 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Why is Peopleware so important to Microsoft and a handful of other successful companies? Why does it inspire such intense devotion amongst the elite group of people who think about software project management for a living? Its direct writing and its amusing anecdotes win it friends. So does its fundamental belief that people will behave decently given the right conditions. Then again, lots of books read easily, contain funny stories and exude goodwill. Peopleware's persuasiveness comes from its numbers - from its simple, cold, numerical demonstration that improving programmers' environments will make them more productive.
The numbers in Peopleware come from DeMarco and Lister's Coding War Games, a series of competitions to complete given coding and testing tasks in minimal time and with minimal defects. The Games have consistently confirmed various known facts of the software game. For instance, the best coders outperform the ten-to-one, but their pay seems only weakly linked to their performance. But DeMarco and Lister also found that the best-performing coders had larger, quieter, more private workspaces. It is for this one empirical finding that Peopleware is best known.
(As an aside, it's worth knowing that DeMarco and Lister tried to track down the research showing that open-plan offices make people more productive.Read more ›
The book was Peopleware, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. This book was one of the most influential books I've ever read. The best way to describe it would be as an Anti-Dilbert Manifesto.
Ever wonder why everybody at Microsoft gets their own office, with walls and a door that shuts? It's in there. Why do managers give so much leeway to their teams to get things done? That's in there too. Why are there so many jelled SWAT teams at Microsoft that are remarkably productive? Mainly because Bill Gates has built a company full of managers who read Peopleware. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is the one thing every software manager needs to read... not just once, but once a year.
DeMarco and Lister don't mess around. They go right to the heart of project and team management and tell you exactly what makes one company succeed while so many others fail: it's not technology, it's people.
With reckless abandon, they attack cubicles, dress codes, telephones, hiring policies, and company core hours and demonstrate how managers who are not insecure about their positions, who shelter their employees from corporate politics, who, in short, make it possible for people to work are the ones who complete projects and whose employees have fun doing so. The authors use no-nonsense writing, statistical evidence, and even humorous anecdotes to drive their points home.
While the first edition was as appropriate to today's corporate cultures as it ever was, the authors have added analysis of some of the latest trends in management in this new second edition, and show what's good and what's not. The update includes coverage of the dangers of constant overtime, the stupidity of motivational posters, the side effects of process improvement programs, how to make change possible, and the costs of turnover. As with the rest of the book, all topics receive thorough and thoughtful treatment.
Although the book is weighed heavily towards software engineering projects, you'll find that much of what DeMarco and Lister say apply to projects where creativity and analytical skills are required. If you're a manager of such a project, consider this book required reading before you do anything else today. If you're a team member on such a project, buy a copy for your boss, and an extra one for your boss's boss.
One final note: I'd wager that Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, must use this book as inspiration for his comic strip. Dilbert's encounters with his moronic boss and idiotic company policies seem to come right from the pages of Peopleware's advice on what not to do.
Peopleware is a book you should read if you desire your business team to reach its full potential regardless of the industry you are in. Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister cover a lot of territory that is totally missed by other leader/manager books. They cover topics such as the workplace environment, the value of fun, and developing a chemistry with your team that is highly productive.
While reading the book it was obvious that they had served in the trenches of American businesses. The universal mistakes that companies continue to make over and over have been catalogued and brought to light in this volume. But they not only highlight the common mistakes, they offer proven techniques to help you avoid these same mistakes.
If you are in the process of forming or leading individuals or a team of people, the ideas found in this book will help you take them the top. You will enjoy the writing style, the humor, and the information contained in this volume.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book that any manager in a knowledge industry should have read !Published 1 month ago by Christophe
Reading this from the perspective of a non-managing software engineer I was struck by how much I wanted future managers to have read and internalized this book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wyatt Andersen
Excellent read. Well-written, easy to follow, and often funny. There is great insight and wisdom in the various tales, much of it based on the authors' own client experiences which... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sean Eby
I agreed with much of what this book talks about. Employees are often a business's greatest asset, and should be, and deserve to be treated fairly, and with respect. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jesse Stuart
The essays contained good fodder for the brain and were worth the time to read. The tone, though, is very cynical. Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by mrjaober
Certainly, you should read The Mythical Man-Month by Brooks first to enter the belly of the beast that is a software project. Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Andrew Montalenti