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21.01.2011 Forgotten gem from the 80s: Peopleware

I first heard of Peopleware in the late 90s when the second edition was fresh from the press. I read it in 2011. It has been on my reading list several times but action followed only when I was pushed a bit. Some cunning soul had apparently done successful product placement. I found the book on my desk under a pile of paper and I am sure I never brought it there. I am ashamed that it took so long to get started, but I water the feeling down with a perfect excuse: I think I could have written parts of the book.

The landing of Agile has cut on some of the extremes in the business but I hear some companies still heil from the past. The Furniture Police has lost many fights, there are times of decreased pressure and the concept of a productive team is no longer unknown. Even in the more mature companies it is still embarrassingly obvious that there is still a need for the stories in the book.

I think every Scrum Master or manager could benefit from understanding what it means to grow jelled teams. The magic is not technology or snake oil. Sociology is the science you need to apply to people even if they are engineers. Conversely there is no recipe for jelling teams. There is just what you should not be doing while you let the team become hyperproductive.

Even back then there were exemplary companies, both good and bad. What remains a mystery to me is how the companies of teamicide are still hanging in there? Where is Holgar Dansk?