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Part III: Work Organization > Synchronized Swimming

Chapter 14. Synchronized Swimming

Want to see real rapid application development? Rent a video of the Harrison Ford movie, Witness, then fast forward to the scene where the Amish community builds a barn in a single day. The most remarkable thing about this particular project team is not their impressive efficiency but that there is really no leader, not even the need for leaders or leadership. They do not talk much and certainly don't have to debate over the design of the barn or negotiate who does what to build it; they just get right to work and continue to work rapidly and efficiently, in near perfect harmony, until the job is done.

This is a manager's dream come true, a kind of management utopia. “Utopia,” of course, literally means “no place,” and the scene from Witness actually happens with some regularity down in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. “Eutopia,” meaning “good place,” is probably a better word. Eutopia is obviously where you want to be, an ideal. So we could call this model of project and work organization eutopian teamwork.


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