This is a short post about what I learned from reading PeopleWare for the first time. Although I am not a manager I enjoyed the book and would suggest it for any software engineer that has not read it yet.
Overtime is almost never a good idea. Many managers know this but still make people work overtime as to shield themselves of the blame when a project with impossible deadlines inevitably is not finished on time.
You cannot control people, your job is simply to orient them in the right direction, clear the way and let them run. If you have the right people, the job will be finished. If you do not, you need to find the right people.
A good manager should be able to single out the ones who have the proper mix of perspective and maturity and then turn them loose.
Although good sense and order are desirable components of our workday, there should also be a place for adventure, silliness, and small amounts of constructive disorder.
Motivational accessories do harm in healthy organizations. They are but an attempt to make up for bad management.
Excessive internal competition in the same team is dangerous and increases the chance of the team as a whole to fail.
The fundamental response to change is emotional, not logical. Do not ever demean the old ways. Instead, celebrate the old as a way to help change happen. I consider this true in many places other than the workplace.
You should avoid downsizing. Companies that downsize are admitting that their management has blown it. There is a huge cost related to getting new employees up to speed that should always be taken into account before laying someone off. It is fundamental to recognize the importance of investment in human capital when it comes to knowledge workers.
What an organization learns from experiences is bound to the people that work there. Usually the learning centers of organizations are the middle management, which is severely affected by downsizings. For learning to take place, middle managers must be able to communicate with each other.
A manager should never waste people’s time. Only convoke meetings with more than one person if these people must interact with each other. Any regular meeting is suspect as likely to have a ceremonial purpose rather than a goal of consensus. Ceremonies at project milestones or for celebrating good work done by the developers are not a waste of time.
It is very common to projects to be overstaffed, mainly at the analysis and design phases.
Modern cities do not provide us with a sense of community; therefore building a community at your workspace is a great idea.