This Month’s Pattern *

54 Ben

For some people, the work situation is so good, or the project is so interesting, or the product is so cool that they love their work more than they love their salary.

Ben—not his real name—works at a CAD software company. Ben is an engineer with an amazing grasp of higher mathematics. Apart from his normal project work, Ben helps people who have a problem they cannot solve unaided. (These are significant problems—Ben’s coworkers are also very bright people.) Quite often, the problem is not within Ben’s charter—sometimes not even within his division of the company—but he spends some time with his coworkers and they usually come up with a good solution. 

The point of this story is that Ben takes great pleasure in his work. This is a man who does difficult things and succeeds. He loves his work, is challenged by it, thinks it is cool, and is definitely not there for the money. A pay raise or a bonus would obviously be welcome, but it would do nothing to motivate Ben. And while Ben feels more for his work than he does for his organization, he will not move to another for the sake of a pay raise alone.

We meet many Bens; we work with them from time to time in our consulting assignments. They work at many levels of their organizations, doing very different things. They are not always the most skilled people on the team, nor the highest paid. But you know when you meet Ben by the satisfied (but never smug) look on his face and the calm air of someone enjoying that day’s work. 

Although Ben is easy to manage (and it’s a pleasure to do so), he is even easier to mismanage. One odious manager did not hire a replacement when one of his own workers left. Knowing how much Ben enjoyed his work, the manager thought he could shift more of it to him. The manager progressively loaded the work onto Ben, but as soon as the workload reached an intolerable level, Ben stopped enjoying the work and walked out. And because this was Ben, it was the best worker who was leaving. 

The manager lost far more than Ben did. Bens always find work quickly, but it is difficult for a manager to find a Ben.

Bens don’t need close supervision. The role of Ben’s manager is to steer him gently toward the kinds of work that he finds interesting, thus assuring that those tasks will be accomplished with the fervor of a highly competent worker doing what he loves. 






* Each month we plan to publish here one of the patterns from our Jolt Award book, Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies — Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior. (Watch this space for a mere 86 months and you'll have read the whole thing.) The book is published by Dorset House Publishing, in the US and Hanser Verlag in Germany. It is available at Amazon and also as a Kindle book.

events

Oslo, ITSMF
3-Mar-2015 to 5-Mar-2015

Oslo, March 3-5. Suzanne Robertson presents a talk entitled Understanding and Communicating the Real Business Problem at the ITSMF Conference. She also runs a one-day workshop to explore The Requirements Food Chain. Details here

Hilversum, Mastering Business Analysis
17-Mar-2015 to 18-Mar-2015

James Robertson teaches the popular Mastering Business Analysis. Details from Adept Events in English or Dutch.

London, Mastering the Requirements Process
24-Mar-2015 to 26-Mar-2015

The Spring edition of Mastering the Requirements Process with James Archer. Please contact IRM UK for details.

Rome, Mastering the Requirements Process
13-Apr-2015 to 15-Apr-2015

Rome, Mastering Business Analysis
16-Apr-2015 to 17-Apr-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering Business Analysis. Contact Technology Transfer for details of this new course.  

London, Mastering Business Analysis
23-Apr-2015 to 24-Apr-2015

James Archer presents Mastering Business Analysis. Please contact IRM UK for details of this course.

Brussels, Mastering Business Analysis
28-Apr-2015 to 29-Apr-2015

James Robertson and James Archer teach Mastering Business Analysis. Contact IT Works for details of this course.  

Oslo, Mastering the Requirements Process
28-Apr-2015 to 30-Apr-2015

Mastering the Requirements Process with Suzanne Robertson. Contact Den Norske Dataforeignen for details. 

Stockholm, Mastering the Requirements Process
5-May-2015 to 7-May-2015

Oslo, Mastering Business Analysis
12-May-2015 to 13-May-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering Business AnalysisContact Den Norske Dataforeignen for details. 

Hilversum, Mastering the Requirements Process
19-May-2015 to 21-May-2015

James Robertson presents Mastering the Requirements Process for Adept Events. Details and registration: English - Dutch.

Brussels, Mastering the Requirements Process
16-Jun-2015 to 18-Jun-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering the Requirements Process. Please contact I.T.Works for details. 

Oslo, Mastering the Requirements Process
15-Sep-2015 to 17-Sep-2015

Mastering the Requirements Process with Suzanne Robertson. Contact Den Norske Dataforeignen for details. 

Brussels, Mastering the Requirements Process
15-Sep-2015 to 17-Sep-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering the Requirements Process. Please contact I.T.Works for details.  

London, BA Conference Europe
21-Sep-2015 to 23-Sep-2015

Business Analysis Conference Europe. Details and registration a Details and registration at Business Analysis Conference Europe 2015.

Stockholm, Mastering the Requirements Process
29-Sep-2015 to 1-Oct-2015

Hilversum, Mastering Business Analysis
5-Oct-2015 to 6-Oct-2015

James Robertson teaches the popular Mastering Business Analysis. Details from Adept Events in English or Dutch.

Brussels, MRP part 2
7-Oct-2015 to 8-Oct-2015

Brussels, Mastering Business Analysis
07-Oct-2015 to 08-Oct-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering Business Analysis. Contact IT Works for details of this course.  

Rome, Mastering the Requirements Process
19-Oct-2015 to 21-Oct-2015

Rome, Mastering Business Analysis
22-Oct-2015 to 23-Oct-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering Business Analysis. Contact Technology Transfer for details of this course.  

Oslo, Mastering the Requirements Process part 2
2-Nov-2015 to 3-Nov-2015

Suzanne Robertson teaches Mastering the Requirements Process part 2. Details for this advanced class at Den Norske Dataforeningen.

Hilversum, Mastering the Requirements Process
3-Nov-2015 to 5-Nov-2015

James Robertson teaches Mastering the Requirements Process. For details please contact Adept Events. Dutch description, or in English.

Oslo, Mastering the Requirements Process
4-Nov-2015 to 6-Nov-2015

Mastering the Requirements Process with Suzanne Robertson. Contact Den Norske Dataforeignen for details. 

London, Mastering the Requirements Process
11-Nov-2015 to 13-Nov-2015

James Archer teaches Mastering the Requirements Process. For details and registration, please contact IRM UK.

Wellington, Mastering the Requirements Process
17-Nov-2015 to 19-Nov-2015

The ever popular Mastering the Requirements Process. For details please contact Software Education.  

Melbourne, Mastering the Requirements Process
23-Nov-2015 to 25-Nov-2015

Mastering the Requirements Process. Please contact Software Education  for details and registration. 

Sydney, Mastering the Requirements Process
23-Nov-2015 to 25-Nov-2015

James Robertson teaches the popular Mastering the Requirements Process sponsored by Software Education.

in depth

Take a look at Tom DeMarco's new article in the January, 2015 issue of CrossTalk.  It's called Risk Management for Dummies.



Als auf der Welt das Licht Ausging, the German edition of Tom DeMarco's science fiction epic, Andronescu's Paradox, has now been published by Hanser Verlag in Munich.  Translation by Andreas Brandhorst.



James Robertson’s webinar for Software Education explains how agile stories are best used to ensure the right solution. Writing the Right Agile Stories on YouTube. Download the webinar slides.


Suzanne and James Robertson’s article The Requirements Food Chain explores how the originators and consumers of requirements interact with each other as the requirement matures.


Read Tom DeMarco's article from the July/August edition of IEEE Software: Sigil, BlueGriffon, and the Evolving Software Market.



Suzanne Robertson is one of the Agile Experts who discuss the subject of Scrum versus Kanban. The report is published by the Cutter Consortium and they have kindly made it available to readers of our web site. The lead author, Johanna Rothman, sets forth her argument that one is not necessarily better than the other; they are just different and it's up to the organization to figure out which method is best under which circumstance. In response, seven of Cutter's Agile experts discuss their views on Crossing the Agile Divide.


Complete Systems Analysis - the Workbook, the Textbook, the Answers by Suzanne Robertson and James Robertson is now in e-book format. It is available as a Kindle book, from InformIT, or you can download a sample chapter.


Tim Lister was one of the keynote presenters during Agile 2013. Tim’s talk “Forty Years of Trying to Play Well With Others” was a big hit. In this interview Tim shares some of the highlights of his talk.
Lister, Keynote at Agile 2013Tim Lister was one of the keynote presenters during Agile 2013. Tim’s talk “Forty Years of Trying to Play Well With Others” was a big hit. In this interview Tim shares some of the highlights of his talk
was one of the keynote presenters during Agile 2013. Tim’s talk “Forty Years of Trying to Play Well With Others” was a big hit. In this interview Tim shares some of the highlights of his talk - See more at: http://podcasts.bigvisible.com/?p=255#sthash.G1hS2edS.dp
was one of the keynote presenters during Agile 2013. Tim’s talk “Forty Years of Trying to Play Well With Others” was a big hit. In this interview Tim shares some of the highlights of his talk - See more at: http://podcasts.bigvisible.com/?p=255#sthash.G1hS2edS.dpuf
Tim Lister, Keynote at Agile 2013


Announcing the publication of the third edition of Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister's iconic text, Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams.  The book is available now from Amazon or directly from Addison Wesley. See press release on Business Wire.



Tom DeMarco's speculative novel, Andronescu's Paradox is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  

"This war isn't going to blow anything up, only turn everything off."



Read Tom DeMarco's essay from the July/August issue of Software Magazine.  It's entitled, Bells, Whistles, Power, and the Requirements Process.



In this podcast James speaks of his experience in the profession of architecture and how it provides inspiration for his work on innovation and creativity. He also discusses the role of the business analyst in agile teams. Listen to the podcast.


There are now seven books by Guild authors available as ebooks, either as Nook Books or as Kindle Books.  



See what all the fuss is about. Tom DeMarco's article in IEEE Software seems to have annoyed practically everyone: "Software Engineering, an idea whose time has come and gone?"


Shane Hastie's interview with the authors and book excerpt: Mastering the Requirements Process on InfoQ.


Mastering the Requirements Process, third edition Getting Requirements Right is now available as a Kindle Book, Nook Book, or in traditional paper.



The Guild's Jolt Award book, Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies is now available in a Kindle edition.


Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister's perennially popular book Peopleware is now available in a Kindle Edition.


Tom DeMarco provides a video commentary about the Adrenaline Junkies book project. Learn how this Jolt Award-winning book came about.