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Subject:Re: Measuring Productivity From:Sherrill Fink <sfink -at- RELAY -dot- NSWC -dot- NAVY -dot- MIL> Date:Tue, 22 Aug 1995 11:02:46 EDT
I forwarded Chet's thought-provoking comments about "Why does management
want to measure productivity?" to my husband, a computer programmer, who
has also raged about being judged by how many lines of code he produces.
Of course, since we work at a Navy installation, we are both subjected to
the Total Quality Leadership (TQL) fad that seeks to "measure" everything.
However, quantifying research and development is nearly impossible!
Anyway, Glenn wrote back with some good comments about leadership and
gave me permission to share them with the list.
sfink -at- relay -dot- nswc -dot- navy -dot- mil
> From gfink -at- curly -dot- nswc -dot- navy -dot- mil Tue Aug 22 09:26:23 1995
> Subject: Re: Measuring Productivity (fwd)
> To: sfink -at- oanews -dot- nswc -dot- navy -dot- mil
> I read that post about measuring productivity and thought I'd offer my
> $0.02 worth. The way I see it there are two ways of ensuring productivity:
> (1) Collect metrics, or
> (2) Manage/Supervise/Lead
> Metrics are no substitute for leadership. Metrics (page counts, line counts,
> etc.) give a one-dimensional (i.e., false) view of the organization or
> individual being measured. More metrics may give a more complete picture,
> but they will always fail to correctly assess individuals because people are
> inherently unquantifiable. Metrics _are_ useful for individuals to measure
> their own progress. They can also be used to predict quite accurately the
> resources that will be needed to accomplish a new project.
> Management via personal contact results in an effective organization because
> managers do get a good impression of mission accomplishment and workers get
> a better feel for organizational goals. There is no substitute for this,
> although inadequate managers have tried to go the easy road and use metrics
> instead. We see alot of that around here, and I always try to make this
> point (with varying degrees of success).