When Good Numbers Go Bad

Thomas Cagley, The David Consulting Group

All measurement numbers begin their life with the objective of being good and useful tools. Often a combination of mistakes, misunderstandings, organizational politics, and poor usage intersect to make these "Good Numbers Go Bad." Valuable measurements act as a nexus that focuses the members of an organization on its goals. Such measurements are relevant to the organization, predictive in that they provide foreknowledge of events, and broad enough to be useful in more than one situation. Whether you are a software manager, project manager, or a measurement guru, one of your roles is to act as the keeper of the numbers and the steward of useful information. Thomas Cagley illustrates the unfortunate realities of how good numbers can go bad and offers suggestions on how to make measurement a positive force in your development organization.

  • Common measurement mistakes that many organizations make
  • Measurements that help change behavior
  • How measurements can be fun and insightful-not just boring numbers

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