Killing Softly Your Project Team With…

So instead of looking for ways to make team formation possible, we began to think of ways to make it impossible. That was easy. In no time at all, we came up with lots of surefire ways to inhibit the formation of teams and disrupt project sociology. These measures, taken together, constitute a strategy we dubbed teamicide.

Our short list of teamicide techniques is
* Defensive management
* Bureaucracy
* Physical separation
* Fragmentation of people’s time
* Quality reduction of the product
* Phony deadlines
* Clique control

Some of these techniques will look awfully familiar. They are things that companies do all the time.

Source: Peopleware – Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition, Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, Dorset House Addison-Wesley, 978-0-321-93411-6

Peopleware - Productive Projects and Teams

Does this list sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me, even if I had the chance to work mainly for projects that were mostly filled with competent people and often with good managers that were actively trying to remove impediments or isolate their teams from the company’s nuisance. It is however difficult to work “against” you own organization for a long period. Sometimes you will do this for a while because you want to fulfill your commitments, because you like the technical challenge or you have a particular relationship with the client. At the end, most people will just quit and try to find a company where they can spend their energy in a more positive way.

Most software developers just want to do their jobs professionally in good conditions. A good management should try to “funnel” these competencies to achieve positive results and not try to do everything so that nothing “bad” happens and their ass is covered. This attitude is a major factor in team death and project failure.

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