2004-06-18 16:24 in /books/peopleware
As if phones and in-person interruptions were not enough, we now have a veritable plague of channels for interruptions, which OS and application developers apparently think we can’t live without.
These days it seems that whenever I’m in any sort of meeting where a Windows user is projecting their computer screen, every 30 seconds or so, the whole room is informed that they have a new mail message (complete with sender, subject, and first line), or that some person or another is on-line, off-line, idle, not idle, or that they could be using their spreadsheet or word processor or other program better. Honestly, I can’t figure out how anyone gets any work done. I have to quit Mail when I need to concentrate just so that the small red dot doesn’t tempt me away. Maybe they just all have more self-discipline than I do.
(Windows is, of course, not the sole offender. Currently, I’m hounded by Apple’s iCal, which insists on coming to the front of my screen whenever I dismiss a reminder, forcing me to re-minimize it before I can get back to whatever I was doing. Alternatively, if I ignore or kill the pop-up box, then the iCal icon sits in my dock bouncing for all eternity, or until I give in and pay attention to it.)
Update: D. Keith Robinson just posted a somewhat related pondering
2004-03-10 17:55 in /books/peopleware
In Chapter 28 of Peopleware, they claim that the following managerial techniques tend to induce teamicide:
- annual salary or merit reviews
- management by objectives
- praise of certain workers for extraordinary accomplishment
- awards, prizes, bonuses tied to performance
- performance measurement in almost any form
I don't totally disagree with most of these, and I definitely think that spotlighting individuals is usually a mistake, but I'm confused by the first point and some of the others to a degree.
It seems to me like they are saying that raises and salary should be decoupled from performance. Interpreted broadly, this might also include promotions. This seems like insanity. Wouldn't it also seem to be teamicidal to let your star performers feel like the only way to move ahead is to shop themselves around to other companies?
2004-02-13 10:45 in /books/peopleware
From Chapter 12 of Peopleware:
There are some prevalent symbols of success and failure in creating a sensible workspace. The most obvious symbol of success is the door... The most obvious symbol of failure is the paging system.