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Re: What's wrong with tracking estimates vs. actuals?

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  • Anko Tijman
    ... wrote: Your managers are thinking of simple processes, not complex processes. ... Traditional approach: thinking of a simple process,
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 6, 2003
      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ken Schwaber
      <ken.schwaber@v...> wrote:
      Your managers are thinking of simple processes, not complex processes.
      > Ken

      Traditional approach: thinking of a simple process, and developing
      complex software

      Agile approach: thinking of a complex process, and developing simple
      software



      What a contradiction....
      ;-)


      Anko Tijman
    • David J. Anderson
      Marc, It s always interesting to speculate on what works and doesn t work. In this case, I know that both approaches work with different teams. I have run more
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 6, 2003
        Marc,

        It's always interesting to speculate on what works and
        doesn't work.

        In this case, I know that both approaches work with
        different teams. I have run more than 15 projects in 4
        Fortune 1000 companies (more than 10 of them at Sprint
        and Motorola - both Fortune 100).

        Hence, I just don't buy into the "one way works and
        the other way doesn't" belief. I have the metrics and
        the released systems to prove it.

        You're suggested approach of "just fire them" is
        seldom an option for a manager in a big company - nor
        should it be. Getting people to change can be
        difficult or impossible - changing a culture can be
        harder.

        Regards,

        David

        --- Marc Hamann <marc@...> wrote:

        I think that baby-sitting the team into behaving like
        professionals through
        micro-measurements can only have deleterious effects
        in the long run, and
        will neutralize the benefits of using an agile
        development methodology.

        If on the other hand, the team IS meeting its
        commitments, in spite of
        procrastinating, let them procrastinate, I say. Maybe
        that just works
        better for them, and so be it.

        Either way, you encourage the wrong adaptations by
        instituting an
        estimation improvement regime.

        Marc



        =====
        David J Anderson
        Author of "Agile Management for Software Engineering"
        http://www.agilemanagement.net/

        __________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
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      • Marc Hamann
        David, My claim is not that your approach doesn t work; there a innumerable systems that have been built using BDUF or even ad hoc methodologies. I m sure that
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 6, 2003
          David,

          My claim is not that your approach doesn't work; there a innumerable
          systems that have been built using BDUF or even ad hoc methodologies.
          I'm sure that many of these conform to various sorts of acceptable metrics.

          However, such practices are not Agile in general or Scrum in
          particular. Moreover, they work against the goals and values that Agile
          and Scrum promote, which is counter-productive if you are trying to combine
          them with Agile practices.

          My implication that the team should be fired was provocative, but "that
          won't work here because of our culture/our programmers/our boss" is the
          most common objection I hear to using Agile techniques. This seems
          counter-intuitive to me, since I believe that the great virtue of Agile
          techniques is that they can be used even in adverse circumstances.

          You don't have to change the culture to start using the techniques; just do
          your best to implement the practices, and avoid any practices which work
          against the goals and values you are trying to promote.

          It's not magic, it's not easy, but if you don't at least try the best you
          can, you can't claim to be doing Scrum or Agile.

          Regards,

          Marc

          At 01:12 PM 10/6/03, you wrote:
          >Marc,
          >
          >It's always interesting to speculate on what works and
          >doesn't work.
          >
          >In this case, I know that both approaches work with
          >different teams. I have run more than 15 projects in 4
          >Fortune 1000 companies (more than 10 of them at Sprint
          >and Motorola - both Fortune 100).
          >
          >Hence, I just don't buy into the "one way works and
          >the other way doesn't" belief. I have the metrics and
          >the released systems to prove it.
          >
          >You're suggested approach of "just fire them" is
          >seldom an option for a manager in a big company - nor
          >should it be. Getting people to change can be
          >difficult or impossible - changing a culture can be
          >harder.
          >
          >Regards,
          >
          >David
          >
          >--- Marc Hamann <marc@...> wrote:
          >
          >I think that baby-sitting the team into behaving like
          >professionals through
          >micro-measurements can only have deleterious effects
          >in the long run, and
          >will neutralize the benefits of using an agile
          >development methodology.
          >
          >If on the other hand, the team IS meeting its
          >commitments, in spite of
          >procrastinating, let them procrastinate, I say. Maybe
          >that just works
          >better for them, and so be it.
          >
          >Either way, you encourage the wrong adaptations by
          >instituting an
          >estimation improvement regime.
          >
          >Marc
          >
          >
          >
          >=====
          >David J Anderson
          >Author of "Agile Management for Software Engineering"
          >http://www.agilemanagement.net/
          >
          >__________________________________
          >Do you Yahoo!?
          >The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
          >http://shopping.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          >To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
          >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          >scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
          >
          >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • David J. Anderson
          Marc, I think there is a danger of doing agile for the sake of it. The real goal is to make more money by delivering more value faster to the end of value
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 6, 2003
            Marc,

            I think there is a danger of "doing agile" for the
            sake of it. The real goal is to make more money by
            delivering more value faster to the end of value
            chain. If agilists lose sight of this then agile will
            be a fad rather than a genuine trend.

            I would contest your observation that making the best
            ROI or the most money is always best done using the
            very pure agile techniques you describe.

            For example, in the Boehm and Turner book they
            describe a 3 year long XP project which using more
            than 30 developers in a 50 person team produced around
            500,000 SLOC. Compare this to the CLS project at UOB
            in Singapore (the original FDD project) which was
            performed using the fine-grained planned versus actual
            which with slightly less people (47) but with only 23
            developers produced 1,500,000 SLOC in only 18 months.

            If SLOC is a reliable metric (and I don't believe it
            is but given a lack of a function point assessment of
            both projects it is all we have) then the first FDD
            project seems to be up to 6 times more effective than
            the textbook XP project reported by Boehm and Turner.

            Not only was the CLS project a huge success but after
            it was rolled live - the bank (UOB) was able to take
            over its nearest competitor. This was achieved through
            improved competitiveness and the lending system
            delivered by the CLS project played a key part in
            providing that competitiveness.

            One of the big problems with agile successes is that
            they get reported in a relative manner e.g. we
            implemented (pick a method you like e.g. Scrum) and we
            produced a four fold improvement. There are lots of
            such anecdotes. Ken even includes one in the Scrum
            book. However, none of these results are reported as
            absolute figures in a normalized manner. The success
            has a lot to do with the starting position. It's
            always easy to improve a very poor organization.

            So I fail to accept that you can assert that adhoc,
            self-organizing processes can outperform lean
            processes which still include aspects such as planned
            versus actual dates. When you can show me the metrics
            from real projects reported in a normalized fashion,
            from projects performed in large businesses with large
            value-added or revenue generation potential then I
            might start to believe.

            Cordially,
            David
            --
            David J. Anderson
            author of "Agile Management for Software Engineering"
            http://www.agilemanagement.net/

            --- Marc Hamann <marc@...> wrote:

            David,

            My claim is not that your approach doesn't work; there
            a innumerable
            systems that have been built using BDUF or even ad hoc
            methodologies.
            I'm sure that many of these conform to various sorts
            of acceptable metrics.

            However, such practices are not Agile in general or
            Scrum in
            particular. Moreover, they work against the goals and
            values that Agile
            and Scrum promote, which is counter-productive if you
            are trying to combine
            them with Agile practices.

            My implication that the team should be fired was
            provocative, but "that
            won't work here because of our culture/our
            programmers/our boss" is the
            most common objection I hear to using Agile
            techniques. This seems
            counter-intuitive to me, since I believe that the
            great virtue of Agile
            techniques is that they can be used even in adverse
            circumstances.

            You don't have to change the culture to start using
            the techniques; just do
            your best to implement the practices, and avoid any
            practices which work
            against the goals and values you are trying to
            promote.

            It's not magic, it's not easy, but if you don't at
            least try the best you
            can, you can't claim to be doing Scrum or Agile.

            Regards,

            Marc



            =====
            David J Anderson
            Author of "Agile Management for Software Engineering"
            http://www.agilemanagement.net/

            __________________________________
            Do you Yahoo!?
            The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
            http://shopping.yahoo.com
          • Marc Hamann
            David, ... I agree that doing agile is not an end in and of itself. Providing return on investment and return on expectation is the real goal. We do this by
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 6, 2003
              David,

              >I think there is a danger of "doing agile" for the
              >sake of it. The real goal is to make more money by
              >delivering more value faster to the end of value
              >chain.

              I agree that "doing agile" is not an end in and of itself. Providing
              return on investment and return on expectation is the real goal.

              We do this by producing working software that fulfills the needs of the
              customer. I'm quite skeptical that we can do this by producing "metrics".

              The only metric that counts is how many of the customer's requirements we
              clear out of the backlog by delivering well-made, working software for a
              given cost.
              Any other metric may or may not be a helpful guideline to help you
              accomplish that primary goal, but some metrics are blatantly
              counter-productive because they encourage the wrong behaviour.

              I'm glad you agree that SLOC is not a good metric; crappy code can eat up
              WAY more lines than good code. ;-)

              >One of the big problems with agile successes is that
              >they get reported in a relative manner

              I suppose part of our disagreement comes from our different concerns. You
              want to bring a scientific study to the successes of particular cases.
              Though I'm skeptical that you can ever factor out all the variables that go
              into a large project and isolate with absolute objectivity that one method
              is better than another, I can understand why you want to do this.

              However, I'm in the trenches, and the only reason I give a fig about the
              Agile methodologies is that they offer approaches and techniques that solve
              my real day to day challenges in building good, reliable, low cost
              software. What Chrysler did, or some offshore bank, though perhaps of
              academic interest will not sway me one way or another as to whether those
              techniques will work for me. If they work for me, I use them, if they
              don't, I won't.

              >So I fail to accept that you can assert that adhoc,
              >self-organizing processes can outperform lean
              >processes which still include aspects such as planned
              >versus actual dates.

              Well, since we are unlikely to find mutually satisfactory metrics for
              determining performance, I don't think I would make that claim. ;-)

              However, I do know that professionals who are too valuable to be fired are
              smart enough to tell when they are being micro-managed or babied, and
              neither of these brings out high morale, creativity and "can do" spirit.

              Remember that people will focus their energies on whatever you measure to
              evaluate them. If you measure their ability to estimate rather than their
              ability to produce working software, you will encourage them to pace their
              work to the plan, rather than doing the best they can always, to avoid
              taking risks that might throw their estimations off, even if it would
              improve the product.

              I can't see how that will improve productivity. In fact, I wouldn't
              believe it were so even if you showed me some metrics. ;-)

              >When you can show me the metrics
              >from real projects reported in a normalized fashion,
              >from projects performed in large businesses with large
              >value-added or revenue generation potential then I
              >might start to believe.

              When the Buddha was asked "Why should I believe what your saying?", he
              replied "Don't believe it. Try it for yourself ."

              I can't improve on that. ;-)

              Marc
            • Daniel Gackle
              Thanks to everyone who replied on estimates vs. actuals. The best thing for me was seeing the diversity of opinion on it, which helped me realize we can just
              Message 6 of 20 , Oct 10, 2003
                Thanks to everyone who replied on estimates vs. actuals. The best thing for
                me was seeing the diversity of opinion on it, which helped me realize we can
                just be pragmatic. Both Jeff's and Ron's reply of "why not give them what
                they want if it doesn't cost you anything" (my paraphrase) seems applicable
                to our situation. For me this is part of learning to distinguish the
                essential stuff from the secondary stuff (which can just flex).

                I remain perplexed about exactly what people think they're going to get out
                of such numbers. Maybe my problem is that word "exactly". Maybe they just
                have a fuzzy idea of what they think they'll get... something vague but
                comforting, like "more control".

                Daniel
              • David J. Anderson
                ... I remain perplexed about exactly what people think they re going to get out of such numbers. Maybe my problem is that word exactly . Maybe they just have
                Message 7 of 20 , Oct 11, 2003
                  --- Daniel Gackle <gackle@...> wrote:

                  I remain perplexed about exactly what people think
                  they're going to get out
                  of such numbers. Maybe my problem is that word
                  "exactly". Maybe they just
                  have a fuzzy idea of what they think they'll get...
                  something vague but
                  comforting, like "more control".

                  Daniel

                  -=-=-

                  Daniel,

                  There is a real danger that some mangers/directors
                  will try to use the data for staff evaluation and use
                  it to filter out targets for layoffs. I worked with a
                  director at Sprint who tried to do this. I (somewhat)
                  successfully turned this into athe more benign,
                  monitoring of our ability to estimate. This made it
                  more a metric measuring line managers like me, than a
                  metric measuring my staff. I saw that as part of my
                  job - taking the heat away from the workforce.

                  Hence, I think that you are right to be wary. I don't
                  think that anyone believes they have more control from
                  metrics like these - other than they believe that they
                  will get early warning of slippages.

                  People I work with who believe in short-time window
                  planned versus actual, i.e. only planned out up to two
                  weeks ahead, believe that it provides commitment and
                  focus when that can't be achieved through other means
                  such as daily standups.

                  I don't know anyone who genuinely believes that
                  fine-grained planned versus actual dates works beyond
                  that time period. Trying to make a full release plan
                  in advance is just inviting Gantt Chart hell and
                  providing busy work for project managers anxious to
                  keep their jobs and their PMI qualifications.
                  Sometimes, you should look to the personal motivation
                  and the extremely local optimum for an explanation of
                  why something is the way it is.

                  David



                  =====
                  David J Anderson
                  Author of "Agile Management for Software Engineering"
                  http://www.agilemanagement.net/

                  __________________________________
                  Do you Yahoo!?
                  The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
                  http://shopping.yahoo.com
                • Ken Schwaber
                  In some instances we re going to be stuck with tracking actuals. Mel Pullen pointed out that this may be a symptom of displaced management trying to figure out
                  Message 8 of 20 , Oct 12, 2003
                    In some instances we're going to be stuck with tracking actuals. Mel Pullen
                    pointed out that this may be a symptom of displaced management trying to
                    figure out how they are adding value, and relying on what they have used in
                    the past to add that value. They have always tried to improve predictabity
                    in the past, let's try to do it in the future.

                    I've always tried to get management to do another job. I've tried to get
                    them to see how well or badly a team does, what it can produce Sprint by
                    Sprint. Then I ask them to actually do the job of management - figure out
                    what to do based on what the team has been able to build. Should release
                    dates be changed? Should the project be decommissioned? Should functionality
                    be dropped from this release? Should the team's expertise be improved in
                    some areas? To me, these are all reasonable areas of management expertise,
                    not throwing the problem back on the team by saying, "improve your
                    estimates."

                    Ken

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Mike Cohn [mailto:mike@...]
                    Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 9:57 AM
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] What's wrong with tracking estimates vs.
                    actuals?


                    I'd say you shouldn't do it because it doesn't add value commensurate with
                    its cost. Don't argue with your bosses that it "adds no value" because
                    comparing what you originally thought a task would take with what it did
                    take can help make you a better estimator.

                    But, it can be time-consuming to track actuals, especially for a full team
                    where some on the team are probably already decent estimators.

                    Because Scrum already has solid mechanisms for monitoring whether all the
                    work gets done in a sprint (high team commitment, daily burndown charts,
                    daily scrum, and so on), Scrum does not have the same reliance on early and
                    accurating estimating that a predictive or waterfall approach does.

                    So--the cost to gather actuals is the same in Scrum or waterfall. The
                    benefit in Scrum is greatly reduced.

                    --Mike



                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Daniel Gackle [mailto:gackle@...]
                    > Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 12:35 AM
                    > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] What's wrong with tracking estimates vs.
                    > actuals?
                    >
                    > At my company, some managers believe in tracking estimates vs. actuals.
                    > They
                    > like what my team is doing with Scrum, but they'd like it better if we
                    > gave
                    > them a spreadsheet every month matching the estimate for each task with
                    > the
                    > hours actually spent on that task.
                    >
                    > I feel bad about this and don't want to do it. It feels contrary to the
                    > spirit of self-organizing teams, like someone is looking over our
                    > shoulder.
                    > Yet I can't fully articulate what's wrong with it.
                    >
                    > Can anyone help me get clearer on this?
                    >
                    > - Daniel
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: "Gamble, Ken" <ken.gamble@...>
                    > Subject: New Scrum Article Available
                    >
                    > No matter how well someone measures past estimates against actuals even a
                    > small change in the estimate can have a big effect on the outcome of a
                    > chaotic/complex process no matter how good the model is or the resolution
                    > of
                    > the measurements.
                    >
                    > What this means for software development is that even though we can use
                    > previous estimates as part of a process model for delivering software we
                    > have to keep a sharp eye (Scrum management) on the process because it can
                    > wonder off course simply because of these small values, even if the
                    > process
                    > model is very tightly defined.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-
                    > unsubscribe@...
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




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                    To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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                  • Steven Gordon
                    I have worked on many projects in the past where the elimination of labor was considered a significant benefit, if not the greatest benefit of the resulting
                    Message 9 of 20 , Oct 12, 2003
                      I have worked on many projects in the past where the elimination of labor was considered a significant benefit, if not the greatest benefit of the resulting process and/or product.

                      Why would the elimination of unnecessary management labor not be a benefit to a client? Maybe, the case needs to be made further up the food chain?


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Ken Schwaber [mailto:ken.schwaber@...]
                      Sent: Sun 10/12/2003 4:03 AM
                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc:
                      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] What's wrong with tracking estimates vs. actuals?

                      In some instances we're going to be stuck with tracking actuals. Mel Pullen
                      pointed out that this may be a symptom of displaced management trying to
                      figure out how they are adding value, and relying on what they have used in
                      the past to add that value. They have always tried to improve predictabity
                      in the past, let's try to do it in the future.

                      I've always tried to get management to do another job. I've tried to get
                      them to see how well or badly a team does, what it can produce Sprint by
                      Sprint. Then I ask them to actually do the job of management - figure out
                      what to do based on what the team has been able to build. Should release
                      dates be changed? Should the project be decommissioned? Should functionality
                      be dropped from this release? Should the team's expertise be improved in
                      some areas? To me, these are all reasonable areas of management expertise,
                      not throwing the problem back on the team by saying, "improve your
                      estimates."

                      Ken

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Mike Cohn [mailto:mike@...]
                      Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 9:57 AM
                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] What's wrong with tracking estimates vs.
                      actuals?


                      I'd say you shouldn't do it because it doesn't add value commensurate with
                      its cost. Don't argue with your bosses that it "adds no value" because
                      comparing what you originally thought a task would take with what it did
                      take can help make you a better estimator.

                      But, it can be time-consuming to track actuals, especially for a full team
                      where some on the team are probably already decent estimators.

                      Because Scrum already has solid mechanisms for monitoring whether all the
                      work gets done in a sprint (high team commitment, daily burndown charts,
                      daily scrum, and so on), Scrum does not have the same reliance on early and
                      accurating estimating that a predictive or waterfall approach does.

                      So--the cost to gather actuals is the same in Scrum or waterfall. The
                      benefit in Scrum is greatly reduced.

                      --Mike



                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: Daniel Gackle [mailto:gackle@...]
                      > Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 12:35 AM
                      > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] What's wrong with tracking estimates vs.
                      > actuals?
                      >
                      > At my company, some managers believe in tracking estimates vs. actuals.
                      > They
                      > like what my team is doing with Scrum, but they'd like it better if we
                      > gave
                      > them a spreadsheet every month matching the estimate for each task with
                      > the
                      > hours actually spent on that task.
                      >
                      > I feel bad about this and don't want to do it. It feels contrary to the
                      > spirit of self-organizing teams, like someone is looking over our
                      > shoulder.
                      > Yet I can't fully articulate what's wrong with it.
                      >
                      > Can anyone help me get clearer on this?
                      >
                      > - Daniel
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: "Gamble, Ken" <ken.gamble@...>
                      > Subject: New Scrum Article Available
                      >
                      > No matter how well someone measures past estimates against actuals even a
                      > small change in the estimate can have a big effect on the outcome of a
                      > chaotic/complex process no matter how good the model is or the resolution
                      > of
                      > the measurements.
                      >
                      > What this means for software development is that even though we can use
                      > previous estimates as part of a process model for delivering software we
                      > have to keep a sharp eye (Scrum management) on the process because it can
                      > wonder off course simply because of these small values, even if the
                      > process
                      > model is very tightly defined.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-
                      > unsubscribe@...
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




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                    • Edmund Schweppe
                      ... What will the client do with the managers whose unnecessary management labor will be eliminated? Or, more to the point, what do the affected managers
                      Message 10 of 20 , Oct 12, 2003
                        Steven Gordon wrote:
                        > I have worked on many projects in the past where the
                        > elimination of labor was considered a significant benefit,
                        > if not the greatest benefit of the resulting process and/or
                        > product.
                        >
                        > Why would the elimination of unnecessary management labor not
                        > be a benefit to a client? Maybe, the case needs to be made
                        > further up the food chain?

                        What will the client do with the managers whose "unnecessary management
                        labor" will be eliminated? Or, more to the point, what do the affected
                        managers *think* the client will do with them?

                        If the particular client has a history of dealing with "unnecessary"
                        positions by firing the persons therein, the affected managers are going
                        to be *very* strongly motivated to make sure *their* positions are seen
                        as "necessary".

                        --
                        Edmund Schweppe -- schweppe@... -- http://schweppe.home.tiac.net
                        The opinions expressed herein are at best coincidentally related to
                        those of any past, present or future employer.
                      • Steven Gordon
                        The main difference is whose position is being eliminated. It bothers me that projects which reduce how much labor it takes to do production
                        Message 11 of 20 , Oct 12, 2003
                          The main difference is whose position is being eliminated.

                          <Rant mode on>

                          It bothers me that projects which reduce how much labor it takes to do production will lead to reductions in force, but projects that reduce how much management is required just leads to managers with time on their hands.

                          And managers with time on their hands leads to micromanagement activities like tracking estimates vs. actuals in a process where the metric is not highly correlated to success. Next, they will try to weigh the process down with collecting even more metrics that are not success factors, and start applying 6-sigma optimizations on them. Will anybody notice that these measured metrics will improve, but actual productivity and true successes will decrease? Probably not, because they will define productivity and success in terms of the metrics they are collecting and analyzing.

                          <Rant mode off>

                          Sorry if I offended any managers here.

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Edmund Schweppe [mailto:schweppe@...]
                          Sent: Sun 10/12/2003 10:21 AM
                          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                          Cc:
                          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] What's wrong with tracking estimates vs. actuals?

                          Steven Gordon wrote:
                          > I have worked on many projects in the past where the
                          > elimination of labor was considered a significant benefit,
                          > if not the greatest benefit of the resulting process and/or
                          > product.
                          >
                          > Why would the elimination of unnecessary management labor not
                          > be a benefit to a client? Maybe, the case needs to be made
                          > further up the food chain?

                          What will the client do with the managers whose "unnecessary management
                          labor" will be eliminated? Or, more to the point, what do the affected
                          managers *think* the client will do with them?

                          If the particular client has a history of dealing with "unnecessary"
                          positions by firing the persons therein, the affected managers are going
                          to be *very* strongly motivated to make sure *their* positions are seen
                          as "necessary".

                          --
                          Edmund Schweppe -- schweppe@... -- http://schweppe.home.tiac.net
                          The opinions expressed herein are at best coincidentally related to
                          those of any past, present or future employer.



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                        • David J. Anderson
                          Steve, You are defining what bad managers do - managers who don t know what management is and probably have never been trained as proper managers. For the
                          Message 12 of 20 , Oct 12, 2003
                            Steve,

                            You are defining what bad managers do - managers who
                            don't know what management "is" and probably have
                            never been trained as proper managers.

                            For the rest of us good managers - we just tune you
                            out :-)

                            David


                            --- Steven Gordon <sagordon@...> wrote:

                            The main difference is whose position is being
                            eliminated.

                            <Rant mode on>

                            It bothers me that projects which reduce how much
                            labor it takes to do production will lead to
                            reductions in force, but projects that reduce how much
                            management is required just leads to managers with
                            time on their hands.

                            And managers with time on their hands leads to
                            micromanagement activities like tracking estimates vs.
                            actuals in a process where the metric is not highly
                            correlated to success. Next, they will try to weigh
                            the process down with collecting even more metrics
                            that are not success factors, and start applying
                            6-sigma optimizations on them. Will anybody notice
                            that these measured metrics will improve, but actual
                            productivity and true successes will decrease?
                            Probably not, because they will define productivity
                            and success in terms of the metrics they are
                            collecting and analyzing.

                            <Rant mode off>

                            Sorry if I offended any managers here.



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