I had to cancel my appearance at Agile Adria 2014, but the organizers kindly offered to interview me on what I’d intended as the topic of my talk there: “Manufacturing Slack”. I’d wanted to share highlights from my course of the same title in which I share the tools that I’ve used to “manufacture” the energy, time, and money to improve my life, both at work and at home.

So although I couldn’t share these ideas in person and answer questions from the Agile Adria audience, I’d like to offer something in its place. First, an audio-only interview with Marko Keba of agile.hr.

I also tried to organize a hangout session on this topic, but the Google+ learning curve proved unexpectedly steep. I managed to record a podcast of “Manufacturing Slack: finding the energy, time, and money to make the on-going improvements that we all keep saying that we want to make” and published it on YouTube.

A few people commented, but it turned into much less of a Q&A session than I’d wanted. Next time.


Tom DeMarco, Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. This book makes a strong case that you need slack, not more efficiency, to improve your organisation’s bottom line.

Eli Goldratt, The Goal. This book provides explains even more of the theory behind the effectiveness of building slack into your organisation.

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford, The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. I’ve never read a more compelling example of how to deal with a bottlenecked person in a software organization.

Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life. Although it doesn’t mention slack directly, this book describes an approach to improving personal finances based on manufacturing money slack as well as time slack. It introduced me to the notion of serial retirement, which makes it possible for me to have the energy and time to travel the world and write these articles.