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156185Re: Becoming rational about Irrationality

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  • paulbaldowski
    Nov 29, 2010
      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "PAUL" <beckfordp@...> wrote:

      > 2. The assumption of rational choice: that faced with a
      > choice between one or more alternatives, human ac-
      > tors will make a "rational" decision based only on
      > minimizing pain or maximizing pleasure; and, in consequence,
      > their individual and collective behavior can
      > be managed by manipulation of pain or pleasure outcomes
      > and through education to make those consequences
      > evident.

      If nothing else, reading this post certainly raised a smile this morning. It did, however, rouse a few thoughts as well.

      I have come to my current role on the basis I might have the opportunity to help drive towards a more Agile project approach. In initial discussion, the thought certainly appeared to have crossed the mind of several others, having failed to deliver two major initiatives to schedule because of poor visibility, weak resource management and, in basic terms, a Waterfall approach out of the Stone Age. However, I've been here a few weeks now and despite good intentions - and some thoughtful discussions - the current road seems to be V-Model shaped and this seems to be down to avoiding conflict with someone further up the chain.

      I can't really reconcile this desire to avoid a minor pain in return for suffering a much greater pain in the long-term. I'd say it certainly maps to your thoughts on (ir)rational decision making and the apparent willingness to set aside the sane and engage the irrational prospect of pain instead.

      I'm faced, therefore, with something of a game of patience myself. I have heard rumblings that the cause of the irrational behaviour may in the not too distant future disappear - but, will irrational decisions then continue simply because the journey down the wrong road has already begun. Or, can I ease the travellers back to the fork and gently guide them towards the route of greater benefit and potential for the organisation?

      Only time will tell...

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