Sunday, November 14, 2010

More about "Drive"

I just by accident read Martin Fowler's article: Can Not Measure Productivity.  The author concluded that you can not measure developer's productivity, because the output is not measurable. Even if you try to measure the performance by using the wrong metrics, things even become worse. In the article, he recommend a book called Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations, written by Robert Austin. but it seems it is not published any more, I just found a slide of the book., and a brief introduction of the book. 

Quotes from the book introduction:
Because people often react with unanticipated sophistication when they are being measured,measurement-based management systems can become dysfunctional,interfering with achievement of intended results. Fortunately, as the author shows, measurement dysfunction follows a pattern that can be identified and avoided.
 Here I got some quotes from the slide:

        "A system of incentives is dysfunctional if the resulting effort allocation provides less value to the customer than when there is no supervision.” (Austin)

Measurement versus Delegation
• Full Supervision: incentives via measurement
  – Relies on extrinsic motivators
    • Money
    • Continued employment
    • “Forcing Contract”
• No Supervision: incentives via “delegation”
  – Relies on intrinsic motivators
    • Pride of workmanship, joy in being part of the team
    • Identification with the company’s values and goals
    • Desire to please the customer

Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivators
Intrinsic motivators are much more powerful
• But appear to be overridden by extrinsic motivators
• Japanese versus American management styles
  – Japanese rely heavily on delegation
  – But it is cheaper for them
  – It is both a strength and a weakness
• Delegation may not be cost effective either
• Sometimes neither style works
  – “Large software development firm”

Summary
• You may think you have full supervision
• But you are almost certainly wrong
• The ship’s wheel is not directly connected to the rudder

• Austin versus Deming
  – W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis, MIT Press, 2000
  – Former BTL lead Japanese quality movement in 1980s
  – Methodology summarized in his “Fourteen Points”

So based on the text above, we can conclude that the book of "Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations" share the same concept with the book of "Drive", use different perspective, it proves that people's performance and productivity is unmeasurable, the manager should not rely on external performance incentive, but should rely on people's intrinsic motive. It also proved that this idea share with Deming's 14 point. Interesting.

Another useful link: 
 http://www.slideshare.net/RobMyers64/metrics-in-an-agile-world

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