Found 11 comments on HN
kareemm · 2019-01-28 · Original thread
Tom Demarco wrote Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency[1] back in 2002. It talks about how keeping slack in human systems makes them more resilient and humane. I first heard about it from Joel Spolsky, who started Trello and Stack Overflow[2].

Slack is a great read for those responsible for managing software teams and illustrates that there are no new ideas under the sun; there are just repackaged ones.

[1]-https://www.amazon.com/Slack-Getting-Burnout-Busywork-Effici...

[2]-https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2005/11/22/reading-list-fog-c...

curtis · 2016-11-26 · Original thread
This seems like an opportune time to mention "Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency" by Tom DeMarco (DeMarco is better known as one of the co-authors of Peopleware).

https://www.amazon.com/Slack-Getting-Burnout-Busywork-Effici...

If you've read and liked Peopleware, you should read Slack as well. If you haven't read either one then you should.

jrs235 · 2016-08-30 · Original thread
One of the commentators on the story says: "An empty plane flying every night – an excellent example of the value of spare capacity. But I wonder how many organisations would have taken a narrow view, classified this as “waste” and cancelled it?" is so on point. Reminds me of Tom DeMarco's Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency ( http://amzn.to/1H4qRld ) which is all about having slack (spare capacity, which means not having 100% efficiency) in order to deal with unplanned issues. Failing to have slack results in a slow grinding process when issues arise and has enormous opportunity costs.
jrs235 · 2016-06-15 · Original thread
>I make sure 1 other person knows what someone else has done, even my own work

I try to do the same. I've often viewed my job as trying to eliminate my job by slowly delegating and having others able to fulfill my current responsibilities. Then I take on the next "level" of responsibilities and/or provide either more slack in my schedule or others. Slack is what allows organizations to operate smoothly and deal with change(s).

If you aren't familiar with the concept of slack, I highly recommend reading "Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency" by Tom DeMarco

http://amzn.to/1sGWsWe (affiliate link)

jrs235 · 2015-06-29 · Original thread
Also Peopleware http://amzn.to/1TYIMio And Slack http://amzn.to/1CDfnj4

Demarco is great!

jrs235 · 2015-06-04 · Original thread
Slack is crucial for all businesses.

Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom DeMarco is a great read.

http://amzn.to/1KGF8DG (affiliate link)

henrik_w · 2013-04-24 · Original thread
I think Tom DeMarco makes the same point in the book Slack: http://www.amazon.com/Slack-Getting-Burnout-Busywork-Efficie...
mindcrime · 2012-08-02 · Original thread
He didn't - IIRC - talk about "20% time" specifically, but Tom DeMarco wrote a whole book about the importance of "slack" time at work. One point he makes is that if everyone is too busy doing the routine stuff 100% of the time, then the firm can't adapt quickly, because nobody has time to learn anything new, do exploratory / speculative work, etc.

His book Slack is a fascinating read, and I'd recommend it to any HN'er who hasn't read it yet:

http://www.amazon.com/Slack-Getting-Burnout-Busywork-Efficie...

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