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Moneyball and the Science of Building Great Teams April 10, 2012

Posted by Peter Varhol in Education, Strategy, Technology and Culture.

I got the germ of the idea when I was speaking at the Better Software Conference last fall, and used Moneyball as an impromptu example of how blind belief influences our decisions of software readiness.

Moneyball, of course refers to the Michael Lewis book as well as the movie of the same name.  Lewis used the Oakland Athletics major league baseball team as the basis of a story about how experts evaluated talent poorly, and about how Oakland’s Billy Beane took advantage of this fact to build a winning team on a shoestring.

So I developed a presentation proposal around this topic.  I thought the same concepts could be applied to software projects.  The book was more about numbers, while the movie focused on personalities.

Following Lewis’ trail, I ended up combining the two.  I used Daniel Kahneman’s new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, to describe sources and causes of human error, and Moneyball to look at personalities and how they interact on teams.

I’ll be presenting this at CAST 2012 (check out the splash on the right side of this page), STARWEST, and TestKit, among others.  I feel very good about it, and think it will be a great talk.  I hope to see you at one of these conferences later this year.



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