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Risks & Metrics Mistakes

Is Your Company Using Employee Data Ethically?

Like Jeff Goldblum’s character observed in Jurassic Park, sometimes we get so swept up in whether we can do something that we forget to ask if we should do it. This is especially true regarding the huge new possibilities for exploiting employee data that businesses have. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Kon Leong reviews the ethical challenges that come attached with employee data. Balancing Data and Privacy Right now, businesses are using employee …

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9 Common Myths of Being a Software Tester

Testing is typically treated as one of the less glamorous parts of software development, in spite of its critical importance. This lack of enthusiasm has in turn given way to various myths about software testers, and buying in to them can make development even harder. In a post for Software Testing Help, Meenal Balajiwale addresses nine of these myths: Testers get involved only during post-development in the project lifecycle. Testers will not become project managers. …

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Benchmarking Blunders: Three Pitfalls to Avoid

There is plenty of advice on how to get benchmarking done right. Megan Stoffer has three tips about how to not get it wrong. There is a subtle but useful difference between the two. Jump These Gaps A vague or unclear objective An uninspiring comparison group A lack of action It is critical that when a business decides to benchmark that it does so with a specific goal in mind. In the rush to find …

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Tales of Defects in the Defect Count

Performance testing metrics provide critical information with real business value. They also have a tendency to yield false-positives and other unintended consequences. In an article for TechTarget, Yvette Francino discusses the precarious position she has faced with testing metrics in her career. Nesting Defects Francino has a particular bone to pick with misuse of the defect count metric. At IBM in the ‘80s, there was a quota to be met on how many defects had …

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Not Every Rejection of Data Is Wrong

In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas addresses a question: Is it irresponsible of managers to dismiss the data that consultants bring to them? Those with a great head for data would instinctively answer in the affirmative. But before condemning management completely, there are some more factors to consider. Trust in the Process Poorly designed data analysis and poor metric selection can paint a picture that is completely contrary to …

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Metrics Ignorance Is Hurting Business

There are many ways that metrics ignorance or misinterpretation can hurt business results, and Ted Bauer has seen several of them. In a post at his blog, he details several ways that metrics are being mishandled. Is your business guilty of this data abuse? Metrics: Mismanaged The biggest problem with people in the business not understanding how metrics work is that it allows them to disregard the data entirely. They can decide, “This data must …

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Four More Metrics Mistakes

One of the great biases of the universe is that there are always so many more ways to do something wrong than there are ways to do it right. It is pretty much a miracle we have even gotten as far as we have. In an article for Fast Company, Neil Baron discusses four more ways that metrics programs can go wrong. If you can avoid these, there are only a hundred thousand other pitfalls …

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5 Metrics Mistakes Crashing Your Service Desk Reporting

There is nothing sadder than a report that goes unread. It is not much better when the report gets reviewed but no action results from it. In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy explains how better metrics practices can maximize the odds that someone will actually do something with the service desk reports generated. He addresses five metrics mistakes that can occur during reporting: Measuring everything and anything Losing sight of your …

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3 Ways the Tech Industry (Still) Misuses Metrics

Numbers theoretically cannot lie, but the way we use those numbers sometimes—especially in the tech industry—can be disastrously misguided. In an article for Fast Company, Ash Huang addresses three of the ways that metrics get misused. Becoming more self-conscious of these pitfalls will help you make better tactical and strategic decisions. Metric Misuses Trusting quantitative data too much Using them to chase temporary gains Measuring the wrong things Huang finds that qualitative data, like user …

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Why Your Metrics Don’t Matter in Software Development

All the software quality metrics in the world cannot guarantee that the final product is going to be something that the user wants and enjoys using, so how much do they really matter beyond an academic viewpoint? In an article for TechBeacon, Steven A. Lowe, Principal Consultant Developer at ThoughtWorks, makes the case that software metrics only matter when paired with business goals. Accounting for Uniqueness Lowe finds that there are too many unique and …

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