Managing Technical People: Innovation, Teamwork, and the Software Process (SEI Series in Software Engineering) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1996/10/28
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Providing practical insights on how to best manage technical professionals, this text demonstrates that people are important in building software systems and suggests how to identify, motivate and organize innovative people. The work explains how teams can be used to solve difficult problems and underlines that successful software development has two basic requirements: a well-defined, quality-based process; and the best technical people.
Known as “the father of software quality,” Watts S. Humphrey is the author of numerous influential books on the software-development process and software process improvement. Humphrey is a fellow of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, where he founded the Software Process Program and provided the vision and early leadership for the original Capability Maturity Model (CMM). He also is the creator of the Personal Software Process (PSP) and Team Software Process (TSP). Recently, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology—the highest honor given by the president of the United States to America's leading innovators.
Most of his advice is not practical, or even possible in the employment situations I've seen (and heard about) over the last ten years or so. I found a few interesting parts, much like I would find it interesting to listen to the tales of any old-timer about the `good old days', and some of his insights about people in general are quite keen.
Some parts really hurt my will to read on. For example, he seems to believe that if a manager can get his team members to work lots of overtime, that higher productivity will automatically follow. Someone who has written books about the use of careful measurements during software development should know better. The evidence I've seen and read (in other books) indicates that regular overtime is a `bad smell' of deeper problems, and a perfect recipe for low quality and ultimately failed projects.
He even claims that the manager's job is to put schedule pressure on the engineers, otherwise they'll take forever and never get anything done. Again, he includes a little anecdotal example. However, with very few exceptions all of the engineers I've worked with hold themselves to certain standards of quality and productivity. Usually management pressure (especially the old time-crunch game) just hurts more than it helps.
Overall, much of his advice doesn't fit with the reality I've been experiencing lately.
I recommend comparing and contrasting Humphrey's advice with that found in "Peopleware" (2nd ed.) by DeMarco & Lister.
Also, for even better book full of `management tips' see "201 Principles of Software Development" by Davis.
Too often technical people are promoted into management with no training. One cannot learn how to manage by merely performing technical tasks. One can learn by reading books like this one.