Slack (2002), Tom DeMarco

Notes

  • Task switching has a penalty – get people to do only one thing.
  • Today’s knowledge worker is after personal growth – give them control slack – the opportunity to make their own mistakes, and so learn from them.
  • Full-time interactions consume brain power. The fewer the interaction lines radiating from a person, the less energy and overhead consumed on communication.
  • Having a gofer can save a LOT of energy and time.
  • Management is hard not because of the amount of work (a manager should not be doing work his reports are doing) but because the skills are inherently hard to master.
  • Empowerment means putting process ownership (and creation) into the hands of the people doing the work. The manager gives some control to the worker, who understands and appreciates the trust placed in him.
  • In the knowledge world, quality is inversely related to quantity.
  • Management metrics don’t tell the whole story, or quantify the entire benefit to the company.
  • People fear change because they are giving up the known/mastery for the unknown/novice-dom – remember, people identify themselves in part, through their work. Never belittle people who are going through this change.
  • Leaders acquire trust by giving trust.
  • Growth is the most opportune time to introduce change.
  • Trust and communication between middle management is essential for organizational reinvention.
  • Key lesson – today’s knowledge worker is after personal growth.

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