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Re: 40-hour Principle -- Was [XP] Re: Forming an XP dot-com

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  • Dossy
    ... Amen. I m not sure if it was Kent s intent, but this is definitely one of the things I got out of his message. As you said, Joshua, it s not about doing
    Message 1 of 145 , Jan 1, 2001
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      On 2001.01.01, Joshua Kerievsky <joshua@...> wrote:
      > In addition to helping control burnout, the 40-hour principle also sets up a
      > challenge. It says, "you have 40 hours in a week to add value to the system -
      > use them wisely."

      Amen.

      I'm not sure if it was Kent's intent, but this is definitely
      one of the things I got out of his message. As you said, Joshua,
      it's not about "doing 40 hours of work, and going home no matter
      what" ... it's about "thinking critically and carefully and doing
      things a certain way to maximize productivity, such that you can
      get all that you need to get done in a 'normal' 40 hour work week."

      It's all about realizing that a 30 minute "discussion" (call it
      an "argument" if that's what you call it) about one solution vs.
      another isn't as productive as the 10 minutes spent coding two
      spike tests to really see which solution is better. Or avoiding
      an hour-long "planning meeting" which goes nowhere and where
      all of your "customers" (who really ought to have no say in the
      product, actually) can't make a single unanimous decision, so
      you just arbitrarily appoint one person to be "The Customer" and
      get back to coding, and not sitting in meetings.

      It's all about having someone lean over your shoulder and say
      "hey, are you reading that XP mailing list again? Isn't there
      some code you could be writing right now, instead?" and actually
      turning around and saying "yes... I really shouldn't be slacking
      off right now..." then stopping to write code then go home at
      6:00 PM.


      To make the "40 hour work week" really relevant to new dot-com
      companies, and why it's important to obey it while everyone else
      promotes lots of overtime with money, options, or foosball ...
      think about this:

      Overworked people tend to make mistakes. How many mistakes
      can your still-growing fragile dot-com sustain?


      There's a reason why some truck drivers have some form of rules
      about how many hours they can spend driving, then spend resting.
      There's a reason why commercial pilots can only fly so many
      hours in a row ... because mistakes caused by exhaustion could
      result in LOTS of damage. (Glen, feel free to include the many
      relevant similar examples of these kinds of rules as I'm sure
      you've learned from your background...)

      Mistakes in the dot-com world can cost big money, millions of
      dollars in some cases. Why do they continue to ignore the
      exhaustion factor, where so many other industries haven't?
      Would you risk your entire company just to try and squeeze
      out a little more productivity out of your people, to what
      end? Is it worth the gamble?


      - Dossy
      ... isn't this why the whole e-business sector imploding these days?

      --
      Dossy Shiobara mail: dossy@...
      Panoptic Computer Network web: http://www.panoptic.com/
    • Steve Freeman
      From: Bob Koss ... Then you re not doing XP! Kent says there have to be snacks ;-) Steve
      Message 145 of 145 , Jan 13, 2001
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        From: "Bob Koss" <koss@...>
        > > I like Bob Martin's idea. Instead of calling it the 40 hour week,
        > > call it the 8 hour burn. The idea is to work so focused and intensely
        > > that at 1700 you're obviously good for nothing more than going home
        >
        > And I'm here to tell you that it's balls to the wall for those 8 hours!
        >
        > I've had the opportunity to work with Bob in his home office. The work day
        > started at exactly 9am, we usually had a sandwich (standing up) around noon,
        > and by 5pm I was so drained that I wasn't sure that I could drive back to my
        > hotel. I couldn't imagine working more than 40 hours a week at that pace.

        Then you're not doing XP! Kent says there have to be snacks ;-)

        Steve
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