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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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Intermezzo: Productivity Measurement and Unidentified Flying Objects

An intermezzo is a fanciful digression inserted between the pagesof an otherwise serious work (oh, well, fairly serious work).

Why can’t we just measure productivity in good and bad workplaces and finally nail down the relationship between the environment and worker effectiveness? That approach would certainly be suitable for an assembly line, but when the work being measured is of a more intellectual nature, it’s not so obvious. Measurement of intellect-worker productivity suffers from a reputation of being a soft science. In some people’s minds, it’s little better than the study of unidentified flying objects.

An experiment to test the effect of the workplace on productivity ...

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