- Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Crown Business; Auflage: Reprint (9. April 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0767907698
- ISBN-13: 978-0767907699
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,3 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 87.368 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 9. April 2002
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Another entry in the small but growing management library that suggests purposely slowing down and smelling the roses could actually boost productivity in today's 24/7 world, Tom DeMarco's Slack stands out because it is aimed at "the infernal busyness of the modern workplace." DeMarco writes, "Organizations sometimes become obsessed with efficiency and make themselves so busy that responsiveness and net effectiveness suffer." By intentionally creating downtime, or "slack," management will find a much-needed opportunity to build a "capacity to change" into an otherwise strained enterprise that will help companies respond more successfully to constantly evolving conditions. Focusing specifically on knowledge workers and the environment in which they toil, DeMarco addresses the corporate stress that results from going full-tilt, and offers remedies he thinks will foster growth instead of stagnation. Slack, he contends, is just the thing to nurture the out-of-box thinking required in the 21st century, and within these pages, he makes a strong case for it. --Howard Rothman -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.
"An irreverent counterpoint to treatises about corporate efficiency. Brisk, compelling, and hard to put down." –Financial Executive
"Tom DeMarco goes after one of the most pervasive and pernicious myths of business--that humans are efficient the same way machines are. Slack will change the way you manage and understand your business." –David Weinberger, author of The Cluetrain Manifesto
"In times of many layoffs, shrinking staffs, vanishing 'think time,' middle managerial heads rolling, and mounting pressure to produce more faster . . . there are few limits on who can get some thoughts from [Slack].” –CNN.com
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DeMarco shines a penetrating light on "established truths" (read: management fads) and proves several "logical conclusions" that might apply to the world of the assembly line do not work (indeed, are counterproductive) in the realm of knowledge work.
This book is bound to be another classic, just like DeMarco's "PeopleWare" (co-authored with Timothy Lister) - and again some people will say: "But it's just common sense"! So, why isn't anybody using it?
Haben Sie das Gefuehl, dass Sie immer schneller und mehr arbeiten muessen, aber immer weniger Ergebnisse zustandebringen? Dann ist dieses Buch fuer Sie. DeMarco analysiert die grundlegenden Ursachen, warum in vielen Betrieben die Arbeit heutzutage keinen Spass mehr macht und unbefriedigend ist. Der Autor untermauert seine Ansichten durch Beispiele und Fakten. Wenn Sie das Gefuehl haben, dass Ihnen die Argumente fehlen, um Ihre Ansicht zu belegen, dann wird Sie Ihnen dieses Buch liefern.
DeMarco beleuchtet einige "ewige Wahrheiten" (sprich Modetrends im Management) und beweist, dass einige "logische Schluesse" die vielleicht fuer das Fliessband gelten, in der Welt der Wissensarbeiter nicht nur nicht funktionieren, sondern sogar Schaden anrichten koennen.
Dieses Buch wird ein Klassiker werden, genau wie DeMarcos Werk "PeopleWare" (mit Timothy Lister als Co-Autor) - und wieder werden einige Leute sagen: "Aber das ist doch alles nur gesunder Menschenverstand!". Aber bitte, warum benutzt ihn dann niemand?
Then references to a panasonic phone, photoshop/images and Kodac films does make the book feel outdated.
I had higher expectations...
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The first is that I don't feel like this is well written. The author seems to bounce around from page to page. It has a very jarring flow. Perhaps there was too much slack for him and his editor.
The second is it's hard to digest and accept a book that just makes sweeping generalities. More so when there's very little proof or info to back it up.
Overall, this feels like management psychobabble trying to promote "the total paradigm shift to think outside the box" as a quick fix. I think he brings up real problems that exist but he seems to present little information of how this fixes it.
There are fundamental differences between a building full of factory workers and a building full of code monkeys, engineers, accountants, etc....duh. DeMarco asserts that current management practices don't really account for this, namely that at crunch time you can push the laborers harder but "thinking" jobs occur at a fixed rate. A little free time, or slack, for all employees is in fact a good thing, because it allows for beneficial change to happen, or certain tasks to occur right away. Standing over a cubicle with a stopwatch won't help the worker or the organization. Laying off a full time secretary and splitting another half-time between two departments because she was timed to be busy only 50% of the day is a bad idea, because then the secretary is then always busy and you then have six-figure salary workers wasting their time making photocopies. The whole idea of slack is also useful when looking at risk analysis and planning, and many other aspects of corporate life.
While I certainly don't agree with everything DeMarco presents, a lot of the ideas do seem very well founded in reality and are just plain all-around good concepts. I think it's worth a read and discussion with your colleagues if you manage people in polo shirts or neckties, but I don't think this is the end-all of management books.
For knowledge work, I generally agree with his main points, and I have gained some inspiration in some other areas as well (for example, some specific cases where matrix management might actually be optimal).
However, some other reviewers have misunderstood DeMarco's main point. Efficiency and flexibility are opposite ends of the spectrum. If you want real agility, you have to give up some efficiency, and the opposite is true too. This isn't a matter of work less and get more done (aside from issues of long-term overtime, where it is a valid point) but rather work a little less and regain some capacity to change direction.
The second point though is that without slack, one cannot adequately manage risks. This slack not only gives you the ability to change direction to avoid risks, but it provides you with extra resources to overcome temporary and unexpected challenges.
In general, I think these are important points and I think that most companies would do well to at least consider these two points.
I totally disagree with the one bad reviewer who claims the book is below the bar of even anecdotal, and boring. On the contrary, much of what is argued here is a logical, or purely rhetorical position, but that is the part that is the most refreshing! Whereas Peopleware may be more comprehensive, it is also less bold and rhetorically less daring. I love to see someone like DeMarco, who has proven all he needs to, instead of just churn out another episode in his established realm, provoke, argue, and show the amount of passion this book contains. Only someone who considers rhetoric sinful could find this book boring.
That said, this book is also not from left field: it owes a lot to Lean, et al, on the biz and IT process side, and it is also of a piece with other writings like Mythical Man Month. Personally, I think the most important thing about this book is that it is original in its approach and size, etc.: computer science, folks, is not a science, and the fact that it has been controlled by science people all these years, is one of the reasons it has denied many of the hugely important aspects of its reality, e.g. psychology, sociology, etc. We desperately need more books like this that are broadly rhetorical, small, quick reads, that can penetrate into the more densely forested parts of the realm.
This concept is promoted by Eliyahu Goldratt and his Theory of Constraints and in his books like The Goal. Goldratt argued that in in the case of discrete manufacturing-where individual goods are produced in a continual but not continuous process through the discrete application of heterogeneous transformations-as the utilization (or efficiency) of the individual steps approaches their maximum, the productivity (or throughput) of the system as a whole approaches a minimum. Now, knowledge work (like software development - my industry) looks a lot like discrete manufacturing. You have a set of inputs of varying quality: requirements, best practice documents, etc. In a factory, the machines that perform a step in the manufacturing process often differ - they could be different models, have different maintenance histories, have different tolerances with regards to inputs or throughput, or produce at different levels of quality. Tom DeMarco reminds us that knowledge workers are similarly not fungible. Not only does each individual have their own specialties and deficits but people have task switching costs analogous to the set up costs with factory machines.
Anyway, this is my desert island management book - the one that's all depth with none of the fluff, and the one that I study for guidance with each management challenge.
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