Saturday, February 23, 2008

You change what you measure....???

Social slowdown hitting Piczo hard........CNet
The Wisdom of the Chaperones........Slate
Power of the Few vs. Wisdom of the Crowd: Wikipedia and the Rise of the Bourgeoisie.....some smart people

We can guess, we can assume, we can quantum physics, there's an idea (I'm going from memory here) that you change what you measure.....

There's a lot of talk about social network usage slowing down, social contribution really controlled by a some cases...banner advertising completely ineffective (most click throughs are by a small fraction of bored people).....could some of the measurement be driving by some preconceived assumptions and influenced by knowledge of what is being measured? The simple answer is yes, of course it is.

I'm not sure of the name (if someone could help), but studies show that even the understanding that someone is measuring your activity has results on it (this is based on lighting changes at factories, where control groups even showed productivity improvements). So, I guess I'm getting to the same old caution that has been around for careful what you communicate and how and what you measure and who communicates...for example:

Example 1:
CEO walks around, asking how people are doing with SYSTM-X, suggestions for improvement and overall positive feedback in how it's impacting productivity....

Example 2:
Some geek some IT sends out an email to let people know that their use of SYSTEM-X is being measured........

Metrics need to be seriously considered for any project and the approach to any metrics, reporting, etc. need to be seriously considered and managed

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