This Month’s Pattern *

57 “There’s No Crying in Baseball”*

The organization’s culture drives conflict underground by discouraging displays of emotion.

I once had an acquaintance from an ad agency remark to me, “It must be wonderful to work in software development where people never have occasion to get mad at each other.” —TDM 

From the outside, the software industry must seem like a haven from emotional display; from the inside, it looks entirely different. Emotions are often high, and there is a lot of passion over matters that, except to insiders, wouldn’t seem to justify any passion at all. In this respect, software is similar to many other kinds of knowledge work. 

Most knowledge work is a relatively new phenomenon in companies that were once almost totally industrial. Think of AT&T, for example: A few decades ago, most of its workers were low-skilled and wore blue collars; today, it is all knowledge work. With such antecedents, it’s easy to understand why many knowledge-work companies early adopted an unwritten rule that display of emotion would not be allowed in the workplace. This rule has been routinely violated, but it still persists. Someone who cries in a meeting or bursts out angrily, upon learning of an unwelcome decision, is written off as unprofessional. Such people are often thought too volatile for promotion. the net effect is to make passion and promotion mutually exclusive, hardly a recipe for success. 

In deciding whether or not to tolerate unruly emotions, it’s worth remembering that feelings intrude on work only to the extent that people care about their work. the easy way to make the feelings go away is to hire people who don’t give a damn. 

Staffing a project with people who care passionately about what they’re doing is a recipe for success. their passion may boil over from time to time, but mopping it up is just part of the price you need to pay to achieve ambitious goals. 

 


  1. In the 1992 film A League of their Own, Tom Hanks plays the often-inebriated manager of a women’s professional baseball team. While he is chewing out one of his players in front of her teammates, she begins to blubber. He screams at her, “Are you crying? there’s no crying. there’s no crying in baseball. there’s no crying in baseball!”


* 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

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.



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.


IEEE Software magazine has selected "Provoking Creativity: Imagine What Your Requirements Could Be Like" by Neil Maiden, Alexis Gizikis and Suzanne Robertson as one of the Top Picks for influential articles over the 25 years of IEEE Software. Download pdf.