Quotable Quotes List

  • “You are doing a great job of fragmenting work” - Unknown. Not necessarily a compliment.
  • “Sometimes when people seem lazy, it could be that they are just exhausted” - Unknown. On too much organizational change.
  • “Absolutely #noabsolutes” – heard at Value Stream Analysis workshop
  • “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” – Strathern (variation on Goodhart’s Law)
  • “There is no question that in virtually all circumstances in which people are doing things in order to get rewards, tangible rewards undermine intrinsic motivation.” – New Scientist. 9th April 2011 pp 40-43
  • “Inspection is too late. The quality good, or bad, is already in the product.” – Deming
  • “Stop controlling people, start controlling value delivered” – Unknown
  • “We have a whole bunch of cute puppies running around. We need to drown some of them” – Heard at leadership prioritization meeting
  • “Improving daily work is more important than doing daily work” — Gene Kim
  • “There is no ‘my’ work; there is no ‘your’ work; there is only ‘our’ work” - Dojo quote on team dynamics
  • “Our projects are like watermelons; green on the outside and red in the middle.” – Unknown
  • “The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.” – Daniel Kahneman
  • “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” – Thomas Sowel
  • “Zero failure is a failure” – Unknown
  • “Success is not typically measured by cost and schedule …” – Unknown
  • “Everyone is doing DevOps; most are doing it poorly” – Heard at DevOps for the Agile Enterprise
  • “Respect the ceremony” – Unknown
  • “If you are a manager and you are not uncomfortable during an agile transformation you are probably not doing a transformation to the agile mindset”. – Unknown
  • “No, I feel that my job as the commander is to tap into the existing energy of the command, discover the strengths, and remove barriers to further progress.” – David Marquet
  • “The procedure has become the master not the servant.” – David Marquet
  • “Don’t preach and hope for ownership; implement mechanisms that actually give ownership … Eliminating top-down monitoring systems will do it for you.” – David Marquet
  • “Trust is purely a characteristic of the human relationship.” – David Marquet
  • “Don’t move information to authority, move authority to the information.” – David Marquet
  • “If you walk about your organization talking to people, I’d suggest that you be as curious as possible.” – David Marquet
  • “Empowerment programs appeared to be a reaction to the fact that we had actively disempowered people.” – David Marquet
  • “Whatever sense we have of thinking we know something is a barrier to continued learning.” – David Marquet
  • “When the performance of a unit goes down after an officer leaves, it is taken as a sign that he was a good leader, not that he was ineffective in training his people properly.” – David Marquet
  • “People tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” – Amara’s Law
  • “Exec quiz: How do you expect your org to innovate if your governance model is fundamentally based on adherence to long-term implementation plans? Just imagine, in order to innovate, your employees would have to put their careers at risk every time.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “Don't trade uncertain earliness with certain lateness” – Unknown. On deciding too early, pretending we can plan in advance.
  • “Alignment is a force multiplier” – Unknown
  • “The point of estimation is not to predict the future but to understand if we are even in with a chance of managing our way to success” – Steve McConnell
  • “Failure is an option to start again … this time with more information” – Henry Ford
  • “More is coming at us faster.” – John P Kotter
  • “Being relentless is key.” – John P Kotter
  • “Be unfailingly respectful.” – John P Kotter
  • “But our decisions and actions always increase the probability of what we call “luck,” good or bad.” – John P Kotter
  • “Innovation requires risks, people who are willing to think outside their boxes, perspectives from multiple silos, and more. Management-driven hierarchies are built to minimize risk and keep people in their boxes and silos. To change this more than incrementally is to fight a losing battle.” – John P Kotter
  • “We can’t work in silos to solve systemic problems” – Bar Yam
  • “[J]ust as the essence of medicine is not urinalysis (important though that is), the essence of management is not techniques and procedures. The essence of management is to make [people and their expertise] productive. Management, in other words, is a social function.” – Peter Drucker
  • “Managerial effectiveness today is, as it has ever been, based on management engaging the three tasks that Drucker identified as uniquely its own: Focusing the organization on its specific purpose and mission; making work both productive and suitable for human beings; and taking responsibility for the organization’s social impacts.” – Peter Drucker
  • “We spend a lot of time looking for systemic risk; in truth, however, it tends to find us.” – Meg McConnell of the New York Fed. I think this is applicable to organizations and the need to focus on resiliency
  • “Teams not individuals are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. This is where the rubber meets the road; unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn.” – Peter Senge
  • “Why are you checking your Facebook or Twitter streams multiple times per day? Is it because you were sent to a social media workshop by your manager? Or because these companies are smartly targeting your intrinsic motivators? What has caused millions of people to start running, exercising, and monitoring their calorie intakes? Was there a government campaign promoting healthier lifestyles? Or is it because thousands of apps, smartphones and wearables have made it a lot more fun? What convinced me to switch from taxis to ridesharing, from radio stations to streaming music, and from workstations to tablets and notebooks? Is it because it's part of someone else's change program? Or because I wanted a more convenient work-life? I'm sure you get my point. People don't change because they're told to change. People change because smart companies make them want to change. It usually involves techniques borrowed from gamification, behavioral economics, and habitualization.” – Jurgen Appelo
  • “When does any waterfall project become agile? When you're out of time or money. That's when you negotiate.” – Harry Koehnemann
  • “If you dig deep enough you will eventually find that at its core, every mindset is a belief system. That’s why it is so horrifically difficult to change. People don’t like their core beliefs to be shaken up and gravely endangered.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “There is truly some magic to this planning thing – the magic of addressing complexity with the most powerful weaponry there is: face-to-face communication.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “The teams themselves can have flawed instincts and regularly take on more work than they can actually accomplish.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “As long as I do not see that I’m blind, I’m blind.” – Unknown
  • “Make them jealous that their peers are doing something dangerously cool. Nothing drives large-scale adoption better than that.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “A successful change agent must ensure that there’s no unproductive tension between themselves and the stakeholders. Any antagonism, even latent, may inhibit the transformation and must be promptly resolved. It’s up to you to make the first step.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “No demo, no numbers”. If you can’t demonstrate a fully integrated system, don’t fool yourself with metrics. It’s better to accept the defeat and focus on solving the underlying problem. – Alex Yakyma
  • “Nothing strengthens trust between teams and business owners better than the PI System Demo.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “In adopting a new operating paradigm, the ways of working are only the tip of the iceberg. The real target of a change agent—the mass of ice below the surface—is the mindset of those who lead the organization.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “So why is it that we acknowledge face-to-face communication as the best way of conveying information at the team level, but at the program level this simple, yet absolutely fundamental tenet of Agile is demonstrably ignored?” – Alex Yakyma through Adi
  • “Our customers don’t buy components or even features; they buy systems. That’s why an iteration can be successful only if it produces an increment of the entire system, end-to-end.” – Alex Yakyma
  • “Longer lead times seem to be associated with significantly poorer quality. In fact, an approximately six-and-a-half times increase in average lead time resulted in a greater than 30-fold increase in initial defects. Longer average lead times result from greater amounts of work in progress. Hence, the management leverage point for improving quality is to reduce the quantity of work in progress.” – David Anderson
  • “Adding a WIP limit to fix the overburdening causes the average time a work item spends in the system to get much shorter.” – Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
  • “We would never run the servers in our computer rooms at full utilization — why haven’t we learned that lesson in software development?” – Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
  • “If stupid enters the room, you have a moral duty to shoot it, no matter who’s escorting it.” – Keoki Andrus, Beautiful Teams
  • “It’s widely known that it takes time (usually between 15 and 45 minutes) for a developer to get into a state of “flow,” a state of high concentration in which she’s highly productive.” – Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
  • “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” – Linus’s Law - can be applied to source code, plans, designs, etc.
  • “Let the team fail: Certainly, don’t stand idly by while the team goes careening off a cliff. But do use the dozens of opportunities that arise each sprint to let them fail. Teams that fail together and recover together are much stronger and faster than ones that are protected. And the team may surprise you. The thing you thought was going to harm them may actually work for them. Watch and wait.” – Lyssa Adkins in “Coaching Agile Teams”
  • “Cockburn points out just how “distressingly Zen” this can sound. In Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game, he talks about how people at the ri stage of learning say things that are difficult for a shu-level learner to understand: “Do whatever works.” “When you are really doing it, you are unaware that you are doing it.” “Use a technique so long as it is doing some good.” To someone at the fluent level of behavior, this is all true. To someone still detaching, it is confusing. To someone looking for a procedure to follow, it is useless.” – Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
  • “Without concrete practices, principles are sterile; but without principles, practices have no life, no character, no heart. Great products arise from great teams — teams who are principled, who have character, who have heart, who have persistence, and who have courage.” – Jim Highsmith (and why we worry about Principles and Values)
  • “In short, software is eating the world.” – Marc Andreessen
  • “Value occurs only when the end user is operating the solution. The value stream can’t have a model that involves ideation and development, but excludes deployment. The DevOps pipeline is simply part of the value stream.” – Dean Leffingwell, quoted at VersionOne Webinar "Top 7 Questions
  • “When an organization focuses on driving optimization of each individual project, many seemingly logical efforts to improve product development unintentionally undermine the very goal they intend to accomplish.” – Dantar P. Oosterwal in "The Lean Machine"
  • “Just like air traffic controllers establish the landing patterns and cadence of airplanes to synchronize arrivals regardless of size, distance traveled, experience of the crew, or any other attribute, so that the planes follow an identical, predictable pattern when landing, a pattern and cadence that encompasses all aspects and varieties of projects in the development portfolio must be established in product development.” – Dantar P. Oosterwal in "The Lean Machine"
  • “When a project fails, the failure is generally blamed on the project leader rather than recognizing that the system in which the project leader operates is a much greater determinant of success and failure than the project leader.” – Dantar P. Oosterwal in "The Lean Machine"
  • “Someone who achieves a high level of personal mastery lives in a continual learning mode with no end state. They never 'arrive.'” – Dantar P. Oosterwal in "The Lean Machine"
  • “You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?” – Clement Stone
  • “You cannot be smarter than your customer” – Alex Yakma
  • “You cannot ever have diversity of opinion with yourself” – Dean Leffingwell
  • “To make Lean work requires a carefully coordinated and synchronized team that is focused on end user value and on continuously improving that value.” – James Coplien
  • “The key to success in both Lean and Agile is the Lean Secret: Everybody, all together, from early on. This “secret” is what makes the human side of Lean work.” – James Coplien
  • “If an enterprise consistently doesn’t deliver, it should be viewed as an end-to-end process problem. This end-to-end process, its people, and its processes are called the value stream.” – James Coplien
  • “Maybe half of software development is about nerd stuff happening at the whiteboard and about typing at the keyboard. But the other half is about people and relationships.” – James Coplien
  • “Once you start looking for confirmation bias you see it everywhere.” – Michael Feathers
  • “Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get. If you don’t like the results you are getting, then you need to change the design of the organization.” – Robert McDonald
  • “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra
  • “It is better to be roughly right than to be precisely wrong” – John Maynard Keynes
  • “Be aware that collaboration requires leadership. As the person in charge of the product, you should be open and collaborative but decisive at the same time.” – Roman Pichler
  • “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.” – Peter Drucker
  • “When competitive advantages do not last long, neither do the organizations that execute them.” – Jay R. Galbraith
  • “All the data must be available to all the parties. In complex organizations, transparency is your friend.” – Jay R. Galbraith
  • “When a company extends its product differentiation strategy to include chips, sensors, and software in its products, it finds itself in the software business too. Part of the organization now has to move at the pace of the software industry. This pace approaches real-time and requires that cross-functional teams operate under the newsroom model.” – Jay R. Galbraith
  • “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity” – George Patton. Ironically,” Damian McKinney told the Financial Times, “companies are much more focused on what I call ‘command and control’ than their military counterparts.”
  • “Diversity trumps ability” – Scott Page
  • “If you don’t get this elementary, but mildly unnatural, mathematics of elementary probability into your repertoire, then you go through a long life like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.” – Charlie Munger
  • “Uncertainty is real. It is the dream of total certainty that is an illusion.” – Byers
  • “That too is consistent with the EPJ data, which revealed an inverse correlation between fame and accuracy: the more famous an expert was, the less accurate he was.” – Philip E. Tetlock
  • “Scientists must be able to answer the question “What would convince me I am wrong?” If they can’t, it’s a sign they have grown too attached to their beliefs.” – Philip E. Tetlock
  • “A defining feature of intuitive judgment is its insensitivity to the quality of the evidence on which the judgment is based.” – Philip E. Tetlock
  • “I have been struck by how important measurement is to improving the human condition. You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal … This may seem basic, but it is amazing how often it is not done and how hard it is to get right.” – Bill Gates
  • “Foresight isn’t a mysterious gift bestowed at birth. It is the product of particular ways of thinking, of gathering information, of updating beliefs.” – Philip E. Tetlock
  • “The further out the forecaster tries to look, the more opportunity there is for chaos to flap its butterfly wings and blow away expectations.” – Philip E. Tetlock
  • “Old forecasts are like old news—soon forgotten—and pundits are almost never asked to reconcile what they said with what actually happened. The one undeniable talent that talking heads have is their skill at telling a compelling story with conviction, and that is enough.” – Philip E. Tetlock
  • “That was the clever way reporters wrote articles. They put the most important stuff at the top, and then the next most important and then the next. It gave them and their editors huge flexibility” – Clarks Ching
  • “The scope of the project always expands until it's too big to fit in the time available to deliver it.” – Clarks Ching
  • “Forecasts, by definition, will sometimes be right and will sometimes be wrong; otherwise we'd call them facts.” – Clarks Ching
  • “That was how we motivated people: by keeping the pressure on. It didn't actually work, because we almost always delivered late anyway, but I hated to think how late we'd deliver if we took the pressure off.” – Clarks Ching
  • “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” -– Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “Layers of redundancy are the central risk management property of natural systems” – Nassim Taleb
  • “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.” – Hofstadter's Law
  • “If you think Scrum (/ agile / SAFe) is easy, just try it” – Unknown
  • “Simple, not easy. There's a difference.” – Ron Jeffries
  • “PowerPoint animation should be a controlled substance in our company” – Dean Leffingwell
  • “Bury the word rollout in a place where it can never be found again. When you say 'rollout,' the organization probably hears 'roll over,' and probably for good reasons.” – Bjarte Bogsnes on a project approach - just do continuous change.
  • “People don't resist change. They resist being changed.” – Peter M. Senge
  • “If you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.” – Thomas Jefferson
  • “You can't get rid of command and control through command and control.” – Bjarte Bogsnes
  • “We need to foster a cost-conscious culture where frugality saturates every decision made.” – Bjarte Bogsnes
  • “Cost budgets are definitely much easier, if that is the goal. But it isn't! The goal is an optimal use of scarce resources, and we need something much more effective than the annual, preallocated, and detailed cost budget.” – Bjarte Bogsnes
  • “Strategy is about making choices. Those who never say no do not have a strategy.” – Bjarte Bogsnes
  • “Those who only love money will seldom succeed.” – Odd Reitan, one of the richest people in Norway
  • “It seems to me to be important to distinguish a good idea from poor implementations of it” – Ron Jeffries
  • “Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex, intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple, stupid behavior.” – Dee Hock
  • “Why do we spend so much time and energy on budgets and budget reporting? One reason is the illusion of control that we discussed earlier. The more details and decimal places we churn out in our plans and budgets, the more control we believe we have” – Bjarte Bogsnes note that the same could be said for detailed upfront planning in general
  • “The main question for management is not how to motivate, but rather how management can be deterred from diminishing or even destroying motivation.” – David Sirota
  • “A performance evaluation can never be entirely objective. There will always be subjectivity.” – Bjarte Bogsnes
  • “I believe that economists put decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor” – William Gilmore Simms
  • “Cost budgets tend to be spent, even when the initial budget assumptions changed (which they almost always do).” – Bjarte Bogsnes on the budget as a ceiling on how much to spend yes, but is also a floor in that it has to be spent no matter what.
  • “CEO opened the workshop. He described the cost budget as '…this cage we build. We know it will constrain us. When finished, we squeeze ourselves in, lock it, and throw away the key. It all happens voluntarily, no one forces us.'” – Bjarte Bogsnes on the traditional use of a budget
  • “But do not worry; there is more than enough left for you to do in the backseat: setting direction, coaching, motivating, and assisting when needed. Just do not become a backseat driver” – Bjarte Bogsnes on what management should do
  • “Exceptions must not be generalized” – Bjarte Bogsneson the idea that you should manage for the norm, not the exception
  • “By the way, who actually hired all these people that can't be trusted? Someone must have done a pretty bad recruitment job!” – Bjarte Bogsnes on whether you should be able to trust the people you hired
  • “Focus on the problem, not the people” – Basic conflict resolution advice
  • “When an answer to a question might change the path forward in a non-reversible (economically) way, then it’s worth estimating/forecasting.” – Troy Magennis
  • “Let’s not underestimate our Execs/stakeholders by assuming they aren’t willing/capable of understanding the new paradigm” – Efrem Lirtzman on team’s tendency to assume that management won’t change
  • “The other thing to realize about our economic decisions is that we are trying to improve them, not to make them perfect. We want to make better economic choices than we make today, and today, this bar is set very low.” – Don Reinertsen
  • “Almost all of the methods typically employed [for prioritisation] in large organisations end up resembling the Eurovision competition. This is essentially prioritisation by politics, horse-trading and to some extent popularity” – Josh Arnold
  • “No, you don't hold each other accountable. You hold each other up.” – Ron Jeffries
  • “Attack the problem, not the people.” – Unknown
  • “The Product Owner has authority over the product, not the people.” – Unknown
  • “Chance favors the connected mind” – Steven Johnson in “Where Good Ideas Come From”
  • “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Harvard Business School definition of leadership
  • “Make a difference, not just a point” – Troy Magennis
  • “Never show data unless you show it compared to something else” – Edward Tufte
  • “If anyone adjusts a stable process , the output that follows will be worse than he had left the process alone” – W Edwards Deming - you can do more harm than good. Don't panic
  • “Testers don't break the code, they break your illusions about the code.” – Maaret Pyhajarvi
  • “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “We are working on much bigger failures now” – Jeff Bezos, when asked to why Amazon Phone failed
  • “If you have a culture of fear none of your fancy practices and processes are going to help” –Joshua Kerievsky
  • “The problem is we don't know what the problem is” – Paul MacCreedy
  • “The future is already here - it's just not evenly distributed” – William Gibson
  • “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin
  • “Preventive mediation is the ultimate in simplicity: 'Mediation without an event.'” – Daniel Dana, "Conflict Resolution"
  • “We can’t fight our way out of conflict, but we can think our way out of it.” – Daniel Dana, "Conflict Resolution"
  • “Every tree was once a sapling, every adult was once a child, and every formal dispute was once an informal conflict.” – Daniel Dana, "Conflict Resolution"
  • “The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware…. The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, all the people say, 'We ourselves have achieved it!'” – Lao-Tzu writing about servant leadership in the fifth-century BC
  • “There's a big difference between 'it can't work', 'I haven't gotten it to work', and 'I'm conjecturing that it couldn't work'” – Tom Limoncelli. To which I would as another difference “let's try it before we form a conclusion”
  • “Two programmers in tandem is not redundancy; it’s a direct route to greater efficiency and better quality.” – Larry Constantine
  • “I say an hour lost at a bottleneck is an hour out of the entire system. I say an hour saved at a non-bottleneck is worthless. Bottlenecks govern both throughput and inventory.” – Eliyahu M. Goldratt, The Goal
  • “A programmer’s wife tells him: go to store. pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen. The programmer returns with 12 loaves.” – Unknown
  • “Time triage is actually the most important decision we have. What are we going to spend our time on?” – Kurzweil
  • “Is it the 'sunk cost fallacy'? Or should it be the 'sunk pride fallacy'” – Hans Samios
  • “The information you have is not the information you want. The information you want is not the information you need. The information you need is not the information you can obtain. The information you can obtain costs more than you want to pay.” -– Finagle’s Laws of Information from “Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk” by Peter Bernstein
  • “Uncertainty cannot be eliminated by any [organizational change or improved process or] estimation methods. It arises partly because of imperfect knowledge of what to do and how long it should take, and partly because of unpredictable events.” – Kevin Thompson, Ph.D., PMP
  • “There is more room, in a mathematical sense, for work to grow beyond expectation than to shrink below expectation.” – Kevin Thompson, Ph.D., PMP
  • “Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.” – Aldous Huxley
  • “People are more important than process, but good people with good process will outperform good people with no process every time.” – Grady Booch
  • “Integration without branching = knowledge sharing” – unknown
  • “Treat defects as evidence of missing tests” – Mike Scott
  • “As formality increases, tests and requirements become indistinguishable. At the limit, tests and requirements are equivalent.” – Uncle Bob Martin's equivalence hypothesis
  • “The most important information in a requirements document are not the requirements, but the phone number of the person who wrote it.” – Ron Jeffries Agile 2008
  • “Describing how and what but not why left the success of the project to pure chance.” – Gojko Adzic in "Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing"
  • “Everything is vague to a degree you do not realise till you have tried to make it precise” – Bertrand Russell
  • “The hardest single part of building a software system is deciding precisely what to build” – Fred Brooks
  • “Effective communication is the key to successful software projects.” – Gojko Adzic in "Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing"
  • “It is intentionally not too technical or suited only for programmers, because agile acceptance testing is not a programming technique: it is a communication technique that brings people involved in a software project closer.” – Gojko Adzic in "Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing"
  • “Quality has to be caused, not controlled” – Philip Crosby
  • “For acceptance tests to be effective, they have to be automated but also have to be human readable. And ‘human’ in this case also includes those who cannot decrypt the Matrix code on the fly.” – Gojko Adzic in "Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing"
  • “Unit tests will insure the code is built right, and that acceptance tests insure the right code is built’.” – Andy Dassing
  • “And as an organization, you incur capability debt, because people (managers and technical staff) can’t improve their capabilities when they’re overburdened with too much work to do.” – Johanna Rothmans in Manage Your Project Portfolio.
  • “Motivating your people is always more important than establishing your own favorite processes.” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”.
  • “What can I do to help you do your best work?” – Scott Berkun in “Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management”
  • “These motivational accessories, as they are called (including slogan coffee mugs, plaques, pins, key chains, and awards), are a triumph of form over substance. They seem to extol the importance of Quality, Leadership, Creativity, Teamwork, Loyalty, and a host of other organizational virtues. But they do so in such simplistic terms as to send an entirely different message: Management here believes that these virtues can be improved with posters rather than by hard work and managerial talent.” – Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister in “Peopleware”
  • “Law of Requisite Variety defined by W. Ross Ashby: If a system is to be stable the number of states of its control mechanism must be greater than or equal to the number of states in the system being controlled … Simply put, this law states that a system can be controlled by another system only when the other system is just as complex as or more complex than the first one.” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”. If you want to control people, you need a system as least as complex as people.
  • “People who feel good about themselves produce good results.” – Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson in “The One Minute Manager”
  • “Pair programming is not pair typing - its pair thinking” – Hans Samios
  • “Eighty percent of software work is intellectual. A fair amount of it is creative. Little of it is clerical.” – Robert Glass in “Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering”
  • “In the beginning, there was nothing. And then there were membranes or strings, which formed quarks and gluons. And the quarks and gluons organized themselves into composite particles, such as protons and neutrons. And these guys, with the help of some friends called electrons, subsequently organized themselves into atoms. Then these atoms got together one day and decided to take self-organization to yet another level, and they formed molecules. Millions of different molecules were created that way, and they created communities, forming stars, planets, comets, and other crazy objects. Then some of the molecules, swimming around in a warm and cozy pool, thought they were the coolest of the lot, and they decided to replicate themselves. They adopted the trendy name RNA. The copying frenzy quickly went in many directions, and soon there were prokaryotes and eukaryotes (and viruses, too). And boy, it didn’t stop there either. These biological cells self-organized into millions of different species, and it didn’t take long for the brain of one of those species (“humans”) to form consciousness. This new aggregate system subsequently decided to take self-organization to even higher levels. It formed tribes, societies, cities, businesses, and (as one of its least successful ideas) governments. From the beginning of the universe, everything in it was shaped by self-organization.” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”.
  • “Innovation happens to be a concept at the heart of complexity science. Researchers found that complex adaptive systems actively seek a position between order and chaos because innovation and adaptation are maximized when systems are at “the edge of chaos”” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”.
  • “There is plenty of value in root-cause analysis. I mean that root-cause analysis can only look to the past. It helps you to fix problems that have already happened, so they won’t happen again. But it won’t help you to predict what will go wrong in the future.” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”.
  • “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken, journalist, writer (1880–1956), on our often intuitive misunderstanding of complex systems
  • “Stephen Hawking thought it was so important that he called the 21st century the “century of complexity.” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”
  • “Our minds prefer causality over complexity.” – Jurgen Appelo in “Management 3.0”.
  • “Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?” – Frank Herbert in “Heretics of Dune”
  • “Never accept a traffic-light status report in a portfolio evaluation meeting. The traffic light provides no data for your decision.” – Johanna Rothmans in Manage Your Project Portfolio. The thinking here is that you are about to make “going forward decisions” and so this backward looking status doesn't help with that.
  • “The big
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  • quotable_quotes_list.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/09/05 14:40
  • by hpsamios