Systems thinking

Cognitive bias at SPA 2007

SPA 2007 logo

I ran the first cognitive bias workshop at SPA 2007 yesterday. It went reasonably well but as I expected it was difficult for participants to review and use the list of cognitive biases I provided.

Perception isn't everything

Eye

This post carries on from “Agilists: Metrics aren’t always harmful”.

It seems popular in the agile world to privilege personal experiences, feelings and narrative over most other forms of knowledge-sharing. These things form the only widely accepted medium for expressing knowledge. In some ways that’s good. It’s about time we started actually listening to what people have to say instead of rushing to implement Taylorist production lines, finding it isn’t working and then just doing it harder.

Agilists: Metrics aren't always harmful... only sometimes

Burndown chart

My experience has been that many people in the agile world have an aversion to metrics.

One of our goals when Jason Gorman and I started running our metrics workshop “Do you get what you measure?” was to explore what metrics actually measure when people know the metrics are there. It’s easy for participants to see almost all the metrics that are initially proposed result in very undesirable behaviour. People play the system, often yielding the opposite of the intended effect of the metric.

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