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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

About the Author

Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister are principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild (, a consulting firm specializing in the complex processes of system building, with particular emphasis on the human dimension. Together, they have lectured, written, and consulted internationally since 1979 on management, estimating, productivity, and corporate culture.
Tom DeMarco is the author or coauthor of nine books on subjects ranging from development methods to organizational function and dysfunction, as well as two novels and a book of short stories. His consulting practice focuses primarily on expert witness work, balanced against the occasional project and team consulting assignment. Currently enjoying his third year teaching ethics at the University of Maine, he lives in nearby Camden.
Timothy Lister divides his time among consulting, teaching, and writing. Based in Manhattan, Tim is coauthor, with Tom, of Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects (Dorset House Publishing Co., Inc., 2003), and of Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior (Dorset House Publishing Co., Inc., 2008), written with four other principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild. He is a member of the IEEE, the ACM, and the Cutter IT Trends Council, and is a Cutter Fellow.

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