Friday, May 27, 2011

What You Want To See Is What You Get (WYWTSIWYG)

Be it from friends, co-workers, Reports, Audits, Outside consultants, Inter-Galactic Gurus, expensive Standish Reports, inexpensive internet discussions....where ever you get your information from, chances are it's going to leave you with the guidance or direction you initially envisioned.  Could it be that you're SO SMART and INTUITIVE that you knew what all the experts would have said?  Most likely not...chances are that the information you're seeking, the advice you seek and the meta-physical data gathering done is very tainted by what you wanted it to other words, YOU MADE THE RESULTS say what you wanted it to be.

In psychology, there's a double blind technique used when gathering data - the basic idea is removing the originator of the data request from the data points (the patients or test victims).  This often results in a much more realistic answer to your base question (make sure you're asking the question correctly...otherwise you'll be doing MANY of these data gathering exercises).  Is this a valid way for a IT manager to gather this kind of information? Why not? Why not send your staff out with a question like 'Is Open Source the way to go to be more productive' (as opposed to: I need to stay employable, I know Open Source is big, get me info to bring it into this job so I can learn for my next).  Are there alternatives to the double blind approach? If you're really interested in real, untainted information (sometimes you may not be for many reasons) - look for information that goes against what you want, question ALL information that confirms what you want...ask someone with an opposing view to provide the information.

The results you find are usually the results you seek, at least on paper.


  1. Thanks for the post

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  2. Thanks for posting! I have been researching project management software for my company which is how I found your website. I love your theory about what you want to see is what you get, that is so true. Thanks again!