Peopleware (Part 2 The office environment (The Furniture Police – office…
Part 2 The office environment
The Furniture Police
– office space today is designed to minimize the cost per seat instead of maximize workers’ productivity. Simple math shows that the resulting waste (in time) far outweighs the savings made by conserving office space.
WFH? Co-location. Noise. Privacy
As long as workers are crowded into noisy, sterile, disruptive space, it’s not worth improving anything but the workplace
“You Never Get Anything Done Around Here Between 9 to 5”
– if you find yourself arriving early or staying late, it means that your office isn’t designed with productivity in mind. Knowledge workers must have quiet and non-intrusive working conditions.
work conditions affect performance
Saving Money on Space
– conduct a careful study of what kind of space your employees need. It will save you money in the long-run.
Brain Time vs. Body Time
– there’s a big difference between ‘being in the zone’ and ‘being physically there’. Developers must be in the zone in order to do their work best, and we have to do whatever it takes to keep them there.
– the phone is an excellent tool to take you out of the zone. Get rid of it.
Bring Back the Door
– having private/small offices allows better working conditions.
Taking Umbrella Steps
– create yourself the optimal working environment (even if it’s outside the office) to get things done.
Part 1 Managing the human resource
Somewhere Today, a Project is Failing
– although you were probably good at technical things as a developer, you must now realize that your work is people-oriented and not technology oriented.
Make a Cheeseburger, Sell a Cheeseburger
– knowledge workers don’t work the same way as factory workers. Overtime does not mean more product. See
Dan Pink’s talk.
Draconian measures outdated
Management should not "kick ass"
People not resources
Typically <5% time spent on planning, investigating new methods, training, reading books, estimating, budgeting, scheduling, and allocating personnel
Vienna Waits for You
– people under time pressure don’t work better – they just work faster and sacrifice quality.
Overtime is like sprinting at start of a marathon
Protect against burnout
Quality = Productivity
Quality – If Time Permits
– “Quality is free if you’re willing to pay for it”. If you “pay” for quality in the short-term, you’ll be rewarded in the long-term.
Quality > Deadlines
Parkinson’s Law Revisited
– Parkinson’s law states that work expands according to the time that was allocated for it. This is proven as false by showing studies that indicate how productivity is optimal when people estimate their own work.
Unrealistic estimates destroy morale
Estimates reduce productivity
– there is no magic solution to problems. New technologies introduce new problems and should be carefully assessed before using them to solve an existing problem.
7 false hopes of sw mgmt
The manager’s function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work.
How do you recognise a bad space?
What is a good space?
How does HMH compare?