Knowledge Worker Productivity Constrains Business Alignment

Peter Drucker stated that the most important contribution made by management in the 20th century was achieving a fiftyfold productivity increase among the manual workforce, but that the most important contribution in the 21st century would be achieving the same productivity increase among knowledge workers. Any approaches or management techniques that are based on logic and man-as-machine behavior are denying the human condition. Human beings are emotional, social and group-oriented – individual behavior is susceptible to stress and fatigue. Software development takes place in an arena that is largely unpredictable and is characterized by fluctuations whose peaks and troughs cannot always be eliminated. The way in which people work together should ensure that teams can respond adequately to unforeseen circumstances. If the means are acceptable, then individuals will commit themselves to team objectives whenever their prospects financial or otherwise are commensurate with their individual contribution. This may be in terms of their professionalism, as well as innovation, creativity and opportunities for continuous improvement. Actual motivation lies in achieving a balance between autonomy in performing tasks, sense of purpose, and the opportunity to grow and excel. Furthermore, this balance is different for each individual.

via The Lean IT Organization.

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