- Paperback: 245 pages
- Publisher: Dorset House; 2nd edition (February 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0932633439
- ISBN-13: 978-0932633439
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Customer Reviews: 113 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Paperback – February 1, 1999
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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.
If I was a manager at a typical and mediocre corporation, I would not recommend this book too much-- it is hell fighting against corporate culture. However if you work for the best or you are starting a business and want to be the best, this book is extremely important. (If you are a manager working at a mediocre corporation, start your own business or get hired by a better company after you read this book!)
The main premise of the book is that people matter more than management or technology. Any business leader worth his salt knows these two points, yet most managers or leaders ignore them. This book helps give form to the ideals and specific guidance to get there. It is well recommended to everyone who manages software projects.
There is still a lot of good material for managers to consider. The authors make a very good point in the "true story" about the manager that brought soup in to an ill employee who was trying to meet a deadline. Management's job is to make it possible for people to work - not just to make them work.
I also found the information on teamwork to be very true based on my experience. I've seen defensive management at its worst, and how it was terrible to the team environment. Defensive management is a result of not following one of the earlier concepts of hiring the right people. Ultimately if you don't trust people to get the job done, why did you hire them in the first place?
Most of the information is not new nor is it really profound. However, that is the kind of thing that is usually taken for granted. The authors have given the material a good treatment and encourge the readers against this very thing.
When I worked on OS/2 at Microsoft, Peter Neupert (now at drugstore.com) had been newly put in charge of the OS/2 project, and he brought Tom DeMarco in to speak to us. The 1st edition of this book was published in 1987, so I think it was in 1987 or 1988. All the wisdom of DeMarco and Lister was no match for the fact that IBM and Microsoft had quite divergent goals for OS/2, so it was doomed to failure. When I read this second edition last year, I was very impressed by how closely their observations matched my experience from 14 years at Microsoft working on OS/2, MS-DOS, Windows 95, Internet Explorer, Java, and MSN.
A must-read for any software development manager and any executive that manages software development efforts.
Top international reviews
Sehr gut gefallen hat mir, dass die Autoren versuchen Ihre Aussagen mit wissenschaftlichen Untersuchungen zu belegen. Viele Führungsmythen werden damit als Irrwege enttarnt.
Teile des Buches beziehen sich deutlich auf den amerikanischen Arbeitsmarkt (z.B. das Kapitel über Großraumbüros). Lesenswert sind sie trotzdem, da es auch gut ist wenn die positiven Aspekte unserer (nicht Großraum) Büros einmal erwähnt werden.