"We often hear that a happy workplace is a great place for productivity," writes Susan Adams at Forbes. "But is that claim just happy talk? Don't happy workers have a tendency to become complacent and goof off?"
I know that I've certainly heard that from time to time over the years. However a new book by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, argue that empirical evidence suggests that happy workers are indeed more productive. The authors identify what they call the three "E"s and suggest that this is the definition of a happy workforce:
Earlier this week Projects@Work released a 38-page report—Distributed Agile Teams: Achieving the Benefits. Individuals from over 40 countries where surveyed and asked about what they do, the industries they were in, and the number of Agile managers working within their organizations to cite just a few of the questions asked.
"Given the high proportion of IT respondents, we expected most Agile practitioners to report working for an IT PMO, or at least the IT department. However, 39% of all Agile practitioners report across all business areas, which shows that Agile is breaking out of the IT department and adding value across other teams. A further 14% reported that they were affiliated to a corporate PMO. The remaining 47% said they reported into IT, with nearly 20% of these reporting to the IT PMO," writes Projects@Work. "Even in the IT industry, fewer than half (46%) of Agile practitioners report into IT. The majority report either to a corporate PMO or across other business areas."
The former Prime Minister of England, Harold Wilson said, "He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."
Although the economy is improving, it doesn’t appear that organizations are inclined to expect less from project teams or project managers. I don’t think there’s any question that the role of project managers is changing in most organizations, and the need to do more with limited resources will continue to be a priority.
Over the weekend the local Harley-Davidson dealer put on their first big group ride of the year. 800+ bikes made the trek from Salt Lake City down to the old mining town of Eureka, UT. The mines are all played out down there and the town is all but a ghost town these days, but it was a fun excuse to spend the day on the bike and hang out with my friends. It was particularly fun because my daughter wanted to go with me me.
I decided when I first started riding that a helmet would be part of the deal every time I got on the bike. Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving in a car, so I always wear a helmet and the other necessary safety equipment like a jacket, boots and gloves every time I ride. When my daughter decided that she wanted to go on this ride, I made sure there was a helmet that fit and the appropriate jacket for her to wear during the ride. Although I don't intend to crash, it just doesn't make sense to be unprepared.
Living in Utah there are lots of opportunities to explore the past. Last weekend I spent some time tooling around southern Utah visiting ghost towns. A couple of years ago I stopped by another obscure corner of southeastern Utah to visit the ruins at Hovenweep—an ancient Pueblo or Anasazi settlement that was settle sometime between 8,000 to 6,000 B.C.E. and was inhabited until sometime in the 1300s.
Looking at what remains from these communities, I can't help but marvel at the structures that are still standing. Certainly they had primitive materials to work with, but I don't think you could call the workmanship of these folks primitive. They definitely understood the fundamentals of masonry construction.
I spent the day yesterday in San Francisco. I like the bay area (but that’s another story).
On my flight from Salt Lake City I sat next to a former Navy submariner. I usually keep to myself when I fly, but he was a friendly guy who wanted to talk about the Navy, submarines and how there were many submarines that weren’t much bigger than the jet we were taking to San Francisco.