By Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
It’s hard to find at Amazon a book rated with deserved 5-stars. Even harder if it’s got a good review by Joel Spolsky. Peopleware is one of them.Simple language, short chapters with plain ideas inside and a touch of psychology, altogether produces a confusing feeling. It seems as if the book tells you nothing you didn’t already know but there is where its power lies: you end up thinking that you could have written this book.
I’ve got the second edition which is splitted in six parts. The first one, it’s a general and enjoyable review of what the hell managing people is and why it’s so hard. After that, we’re explained how our noisy office environment sometimes makes our productivity plummet. Don’t worry! Low-cost solutions are also included. Next two chapters are both about people: how to hire the best and how to bring them up within productive jelled teams. Watch out, you must keep teamicide away from teams. It also talks us about CMM and what it calls “The Big M’s”, explaining its influence over creativity.Last but not least, this second edition adds several chapters dedicated to topics like chaos control, organization learning, process improvement…all of them from the corporation-level perspective.
All that stuff just to conclude that people is the most valuable resource in any organization. This book doesn’t taste like one of those stale books about business emotional intelligence …it just shows plain concepts and applicable daily ideas. What turns this outstanding book into a classic is that its principles can be applied to almost any project or business (related to IT or not). My piece of advice would be “if you manage people, read this as soon as possible”.
So…bosses, Peopleware is waiting for you!