Dilbert Considered Harmful: Social Objects in Software Development

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A view of Social Objects in software development, and the ways in which they sustain both good and bad identities in teams and groups.

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Dilbert Considered Harmful: Social Objects in Software Development

  1. 1. Social Objects in Software Development DILBERT CONSIDERED HARMFUL David Harvey, Munich Scrum Gathering 2009 (c) 2009 David Harvey, Teams and Technology
  2. 2. David Harvey UBS www.teamsandtechnology.com www.cateams.com
  3. 3. First… •  Teams of 3 •  You’ll be competing, so pick a name, maybe draw a picture… •  2 minutes
  4. 4. Now… •  Pass your name/mascot to the next team –  As if you’ve just joined the team •  3 words on what the name makes you feel •  Which is the most positive name? •  Which the most negative?
  5. 5. WHAT IS A SOCIAL OBJECT?
  6. 6. The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if think about it, there needs to be a reason for it to happen in the first place. That reason, that “node” in the social network, is what we call the Social Object. Hugh MacLeod, gapingvoid.com
  7. 7. There’s a tangible reason for us being together, that ties us together. Again, that reason is called the Social Object. Social Networks form around Social Objects, not the other way around.
  8. 8. reinforce our individual identity sustain our tribal identity
  9. 9. Epiphany…
  10. 10. Worker
  11. 11. Gatekeeper
  12. 12. Deus
  13. 13. Friction words Friction
  14. 14. Friction words Friction Work-arounds
  15. 15. Friction words Friction Work-arounds Waste
  16. 16. Friction words Friction Work-arounds Waste Frustration
  17. 17. Friction words Friction Work-arounds Waste Frustration Cynicism
  18. 18. Friction words Friction Work-arounds Waste Frustration Cynicism Embedded in our environment
  19. 19. Priming Bargh/Chen/Burrows Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1996
  20. 20. Scrambled sentence test thirsty, clean, private, exercising, flawlessly; occasionally rapidly, gleefully, practiced, optimistically, successfully, normally, send, watches, encourages gives, clears, prepares (…)
  21. 21. Priming for “old” worried, Florida, old, lonely, grey, selfishly, careful, sentimental, wise, stubborn, courteous, bingo, withdraw, forgetful, retired, wrinkle, rigid, traditional bitter, obedient, conservative, knits, dependent, ancient, helpless, gullible, cautious, alone
  22. 22. Red and Blue Hagemann, Strauss, Liessing Psychological Science, August 2008
  23. 23. Naming the enemy
  24. 24. Naming the enemy Pointy-haired boss
  25. 25. Naming the enemy Pointy-haired boss “The pointy-hairs”
  26. 26. Naming the enemy Pointy-haired boss “The pointy-hairs” PHB
  27. 27. In history ******
  28. 28. In history ****** ***
  29. 29. In history ****** *** ****
  30. 30. In history ****** *** **** ***** ***** ******
  31. 31. A GALLERY OF SOCIAL OBJECTS
  32. 32. Manifesto again We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. www.agilemanifesto.org
  33. 33. SOCIAL OBJECT SHERLOCK
  34. 34. Your turn… •  In pairs •  List some social objects in your teams and organisations •  What values do they embody? •  What behaviour do they influence? •  If negative, what can you do/have you done to mitigate?
  35. 35. DEALING WITH DILBERT
  36. 36. Messing with identity is perilous
  37. 37. What do you think?
  38. 38. Image credits Darth Vader: Mr Tickle Taekwondo: The US Army Old people: Laura May Untidy desk: Alan Cleaver Empty: Kristen Cleaveland Risk: theburningbush.com Testing desk: marekj Customer care: USAF Detective: paurian Blue Monster: Hugh MacLeod Story: Abby Ladybug Moving: [topguy] Build monitor: the build doctor Camera: Steve Harwood
  39. 39. David Harvey david@teamsandtechnology.com www.teamsandtechnology.com BYE (c) 2009 David Harvey, Teams and Technology

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