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An Appropriate Use of Metrics

by Martin Fowler, 19 February 2013 | The Agile Blogosphere

This content is syndicated from Martin Fowler by Martin Fowler. To view the original post in full, click here.

Like many of us, my colleague Patrick Kua has seen a lot of use of metrics. Management love their metrics. The thinking goes something like this, “We need a number to measure how we’re doing. Numbers focus people and help us measure success.” Whilst well intentioned, management by numbers unintuitively leads to problematic behavior and ultimately detracts from broader project and organizational goals. Metrics inherently aren’t a bad thing; just often, inappropriately used. This essay demonstrates many of the issues caused by management’s traditional use of metrics and offers an alternative to address these dysfunctions.

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