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Thoughts and Trends in Management and IT

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A couple of good books.... and the Hawthorne Effect

by jlrobins In reply to Thoughts and Trends in Ma ...

<p>For those who develop software:</p>
<p><strong>Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns, and Practices</strong> by Robert C. Martin; Prentice Hall; 2003.</p>
<p>For general management:</p>
<p><strong>Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management</strong> by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton; Harvard Business School Press; 2006.</p>
<p>Over the years, there have been so many software development models that it is ridiculous to even try to list them all.  And, to be realistic about early programming, every IT/MIS department had its own 'model', whether they formally called it that or not.  Part of the problem with developing a successful model in such a milieu can be found in the "Hawthorne Effect".
<p>For those not familiar with the Hawthorne Effect, the quick description is that giving special (positive) attention improves workers performance.  So, whenever a group of programmers was selected and set to work on a special project with a special method, they were more likely to have better performance.</p>
<p>So, every new programming methodology introduced into a company properly should have had its Hawthorne Effect period.  Then it would be spread through the IT group(s) and lose its glamour and attention grabbing character, which reduced its positive impact.</p>Is the Agile programming technique just another Hawthorne experiment?  I am not sure.  I am not through with the book and have not seen it actually employed in a company I was familiar with.  It looks like there are some good ideas/processes designed into it.  I would love to find somewhere in the Kansas City area that was using it and talk to staff and management about how it is working.  I would love to see it go head to head with some other equally cool methodology in a properly controlled 'experiment'; I want some 'hard facts' on it.
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A couple of good books.... and the Hawthorne Effect

by Wayne M. In reply to A couple of good books... ...

<p>One key point, Agile Development is not a singular.  There are multiple approaches, but the best known are XP - Extreme Programming and Scrum.  Attached is a subset of my personal list of interesting papers that may provide "evidence."  Probably look at the Cross Talk and NCSU papers first.  I'll just dump a reading list for now, and check back later for follow on discussions.</p>
<p>STSC Cross Talk ? Agile and Military<br /> <a href="http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2006/04/0604SurduParsons.html">http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2006/04/0604SurduParsons.html</a><br /> <a href="http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2006/05/0605McMahon.html">http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2006/05/0605McMahon.html</a></p>
<p><br />NCSU Case Studies<br /> <a href="http://www4.ncsu.edu/~lmlayma2/papers/LWD05.pdf">http://www4.ncsu.edu/~lmlayma2/papers/LWD05.pdf</a><br /> <a href="http://www4.ncsu.edu/~lmlayma2/papers/LWC04b.pdf">http://www4.ncsu.edu/~lmlayma2/papers/LWC04b.pdf</a><br /> <a href="http://www4.ncsu.edu/~lmlayma2/papers/Lay04.pdf">http://www4.ncsu.edu/~lmlayma2/papers/Lay04.pdf</a><br /> <a href="http://agile.csc.ncsu.edu/wiki/doku.php?id=publication_list">http://agile.csc.ncsu.edu/wiki/doku.php?id=publication_list</a><br /> <a href="http://collaboration.csc.ncsu.edu/agile/Bibliography.htm">http://collaboration.csc.ncsu.edu/agile/Bibliography.htm</a></p>
<p>Mary Poppendieck: article comparing agile methods with lean manufacturing<br /> <a href="http://www.poppendieck.com/lean.htm">http://www.poppendieck.com/lean.htm</a></p>
<p><br />Alistair Cockburn and Laurie Williams: "The Costs and Benefits of Pair Programming"<br /> <a href="http://collaboration.csc.ncsu.edu/laurie/Papers/XPSardinia.PDF">http://collaboration.csc.ncsu.edu/laurie/Papers/XPSardinia.PDF</a></p>
<p>Roy Miller: Cutting through the hype of XP<br /> <a href="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-xp0813/?loc=j">http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-xp0813/?loc=j</a></p>

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