jueves, 24 de enero de 2008

Peopleware (Parte VI)

Finalmente, esta es la última entrega de los resúmenes del libro Peopleware y corresponde a la sexta sección. Los resúmenes anteriores están en los siguientes enlaces:


Whether it is named or not, coaching is an important factor in successful team interaction. It provides coordination as well as personal growth to the participants. It also feels good. We tend to look back on significant coaching we've received as a near religious experience. We feel a huge debt to those who have coached us in the past, a debt that we cheerfully discharge by coaching others.

The act of coaching simply cannot take place if people don't feel safe. In a suitably competitive atmosphere, you would be crazy to let anyone see you sitting down to be coached; it would be a clear indication that you knew less than your coach about some subject matter. You would be similarly crazy to coach someone else, as that person may eventually use your assistance to pass you by.

Our point here is somewhat more limited: Any action that rewards team members differentially is likely to foster competition. Managers need to take steps to decrease or counteract this effect.

The paradox of the CMM is that process improvement is good, but process improvement programs aren't, or at least they often aren't. Competent people are involved in process improvement all the time: They take pride in progress and growth, and these can only come from getting more proficient at what they do. This kind of low-level process refinement is the basic hygiene of knowledge work, but formal process improvement moves responsibility up from the individual to the organization. The individual may strive for, practice, and/or promote good skills, but the organization can only institutionalize them. It is in this institutionalization that the danger lies.

Organizations that build products with the most value to their customers win. Those that build products that make the world yawn lose, even though they build them very, very efficiently. Even those who stumble while building products of high value win over the efficient yawners. Process isn't worth a rip unless it's applied to projects that are worth doing.

When process improvement (as in "Level 3 by the end of the year!") becomes the goal, the scary projects get put onto the back burner. It's those scary projects, unfortunately, that are
probably the ones worth doing. All the projects that carry real benefit carry real risks along
with them. It is the project that has some novelty, some innovation or invention, that might grab the customer's imagination and wallet.

Copyright © 1999, 1987 by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister.

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