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

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14. The Hornblower Factor

C. S. Forester’s series of novels on the Napoleonic Wars follows the exploits of Horatio Hornblower, an officer in England’s Royal Navy. On one level, these are pure adventure stories set in a well-researched historical framework. On another level, the Hornblower books can be read as an elaborate management analogy. The job of running a square-rigged frigate or ship of the line is not so different from that of managing a project or a company division. The tasks of staffing, training, work allocation, scheduling, and tactical support will be familiar to anyone involved in management today.

Hornblower is the ultimate manager. His career advanced from midshipman to admiral through the same blend of cleverness, daring, political ...

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