A Virtue of Imprecise Measurements

This content is syndicated from George Dinwiddie's blog by George Dinwiddie. To view the original post in full, click here.

I’ve talked about The Importance of Precise Estimates. In that post, I said,
My advice is to
  • measure your progress
  • watch the trends
  • project the trends tentatively into the future
and relax.  It’ll work out the best it can.  False precision won’t make it any better.
Now I just read The Virtues of the Imprecisely Measured Self by Alex Knapp at Forbes. He tells the tale of a study in the journal Psychological Science April 2011 that indicates that precision, whether false or not, inhibits success.  Alex summarizes,
Precision can actually be the enemy of performance goals. To be sure, feedback is definitely a positive thing. But it appears that if you want to keep yourself motivated, it’s best to get a more generalized, imprecise feedback that lets you know you’re heading in the right direction, rather than the precise coordinates of where you are on the path.
It’s something to think about.

Leave a Reply

What is 7 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
Please do this simple sum so I know you are human:)

There are 101 ways to approach anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”

DAN PULHAM, DIGITAL DIRECTOR
TELSTRA