Driving Technical Change is a great little book who wants to understand how to influence different people in a technology organisation.
If you’re expecting a book on mind control then you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for a book which will explain why people react in particular ways to new ideas and technologies then that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Terrence Ryan discusses a series of personality caricatures. These are a little extreme, but you’ll be amazed at how closely they match up with people you know!
Then, the book discusses why these people may resist change or disagree with your proposals and how you can help to win them around.
For example, one of the characters in the book is “The Overworked”, this guy has far too much to do and never enough time. They can’t spare the time to pick up your idea, so how do you convince them? Show them how your project or proposal will save their time and help them complete their neverending pile of work.
I don’t want to plagiarise Terrence work, I’d much rather you picked up a copy and let him explain them first hand.
Would I recommend this book to someone working in a development team? Absolutely! Not just to help them drive powerful ideas forward, but also to help them appreciate other points of view – understand why The Boss, The Overworked, and The Burned may not necessarily agree with every suggestion.