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Getting the Wrath Out of Your Metrics Program

Emotions can get in the way of a lot of things, even software measurement. According to Thomas Cagley, wrath in measurement is the use of data in a negative or self-destructive way. It works out as badly in practice as it sounds in theory, so read on to hear what you can do about it.

Unclench That Fist

Anger causes people to lose objectivity and numbs their empathy. They instead funnel all their energy single-mindedly into sating the source of the anger, which is known as being “blind with rage.” This works out great for the Hulk, but all it does is create problems in a work environment. When something goes wrong with the measurement program, you need to take a step back and realize that this is just one setback; you have the power to overcome the situation. Cagley presents an example of a CIO who once went berserk when he learned that a project was behind schedule and defects and risks were on the rise. As a result, senior leaders lost respect for him, and the CIO was gone a month later.

Cagley further elaborates on the damage wrath incurs:

Wrath turns a potentially valuable tool into something far less reliable. For example, a purposeful misrepresentation of the meaning of data can lead to team or organization making wrong decisions. Other examples include errors of omissions (leaving out salient facts) or inclusion (including irrelevant data that changes the conclusions drawn from the data).  Whether omission or inclusion, poor use of data erodes the value of the measurement program though politicization or placing doubt about the value of measurement into people’s minds.

Analysis requires interpretation, but interpretation is only useful when conducted by sane, rational people. Using false assumptions to prove a bad point might make you feel good right now, but think about the collateral damage that you might be causing along the way.

You can read more at the full post: http://tcagley.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/add-text-seven-deadly-sins-of-metrics-programs-wrath/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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