Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency

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Broadway Books, 2001 - Business & Economics - 226 pages
3 Reviews
In an era of expense-slashing and 24/7 work schedules, the notion of corporations' cutting themselves a little slack may seem far-fetched. But as the old ideal of the lean and mean staff proves to have negative consequences, "slack" is becoming the critical factor in a company's ability to grow, maintain profitability, and be able to accommodate marketplace changes. Slack is the cutting-edge guide to capitalizing on these revolutionary principles.Acclaimed management consultant Tom DeMarco, whose clients include such giants as Hewlett Packard and IBM, has spent years studying this critical but neglected corporate strategy. Without time built in for managers and workers to spend thinking about new ideas, he's shown companies can't effectively respond to sudden events, and they won't have enough flexibility to change when necessary or to take needed risks. And forget about fostering creativity. As companies have become slaves to head counts, overloading workers with multiple job descriptions,the result is not necessarily soaring revenues; turnover, stagnation, disloyalty, and slowdown are the more likely outcomes.A counterintuitiv

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User Review  - ennui2342 - LibraryThing

A quick, but powerful read. Tails off a little towards then end - I felt the section on risk management could have been dropped. However, really makes you question the value of some common wisdom ... Read full review

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User Review  - jorgearanda - LibraryThing

An informal and lighthearted argument against mindless efficiency. DeMarco's main claim is that a humane workplace makes business sense. It's a short and convincing book, but if it was half as long it'd be twice as good. Read full review

Contents

Madmen in the Halls
3
Busyness
7
The Myth of the Fungible Resource
12
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Tom DeMarco is a principal of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a New York--and London-based consulting practice. His clients include Hewlett Packard, Apple, IBM, Bell Laboratories, and many others. He is also the author of seven books on management and technical development methods, including The Deadline, a business novel, and Peopleware. In 1999, Tom was awarded the Wayne Stevens Prize for lifetime contribution to software engineering methods, and he continues to work in areas of organizational change, project management, and litigation. He divides his time between New York City and Camden, Maine.

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