Obsession with Quantifying Human Performance


 
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Obsession with Quantifying Human Performance
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
In his book Tyranny of Metrics (2018), Jerry Muller describes the damage our obsession with metrics is causing. Today, a lot of organizations of all kinds are ruled by the belief that the path to success is quantifying the results, and dividing up the rewards based on the numbers.
But in our zeal to instill the evaluation process with scientific rigour, we’ve gone from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself.
The result is a tyranny of metrics that threatens the quality of our lives and our institutions.

Pressure encourages “gaming the stats” or “teaching to the test.” Muller explains:
- Why paying for measured performance doesn't work,
- Why surgical scorecards may increase deaths, and
- When trans...Sign up
 

 
How Human Performance Measurement Can Work
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
My long-term experience is that step 1 is taking the time to ensure the purpose, goals, strategies, individual job outputs are totally and clearly und...Sign up
 

 
Quantifying Works if You Know How
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
Jerry Muller is completely right when he states that quantifying leads to unwanted effects. However I find it a pity that now the focus is on how quan...Sign up
 

 
The Golden Spike
Christopher St. Cyr, Analyst, United States, Member
Years ago, the US government aspired to build a transcontinental railroad. They rewarded the contractors based on the number of miles of rail they lai...Sign up
 

 
Obsession with Metrics
MUNI DAVE, Business Consultant, India, Member
Yes. An obsession with metrics is not useful. But it depends on the conditions.
If all are working sincely and trust (not doubting) each other, m...Sign up
 

 
Problem with Performance Metrics
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
Performance metrics can be way too complicated and sometimes take the focus away from what really matters.
One positive & valuable use of metrics...Sign up
 

 
Transcontinental Railway Disconnect Due to Wrong Metrics
Jaap de Jonge, CEO, Netherlands, Editor
@Christopher St. Cyr: Nice anecdote. Could you or someone else please share a source to read more about this funny h...Sign up
 

 
Obsession with Metrics
Borje Vickberg, Sweden, Member
The obsession with metrics forces teachers to produce irrelevant documentations instead of teaching, doctors to perform half-measure examinations rapi...Sign up
 

 
Metrics is a Prerequisite for Success
Milan Grkovic, Strategy Consultant, Croatia, Member
Metrics is unavoidable because it is practically impossible to reach a goal if we do not use metrics.
There are two situations about metrics:
...Sign up
 

 
Labor Performance Assessment (Valoración de Desempeño Laboral)
Delfor Ibarra, Consultant, Argentina, Member
The samples on which Statistic science weighs the factors each evaluation method uses to measure the labor performance, are extracted in a fixed, dete...Sign up
 

 
Don’t forget the Management Responsibility when Measuring Employee Performance
Gabi Levin, Israel, Member
Of course metrics are essential, of course calibrating for effectiveness as well as numbers is important. But measuring employee performance is not th...Sign up
 

 
Quantifying Employee Performance
Mallika T R, Manager, India, Member
Every single organisation with an HR department would insist on quantifying performance.
It is good if we hold people accountable for their work....Sign up
 

 
Formative or Normative Metrics
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
@Milan Grkovic: What you are addressing here Milan are what educational scientists call normative or formative evalu...Sign up
 

 
Assessing OGSM's
Doug Marriner, HR Consultant, Member
Now retired, my experience in several very large organisations is that come performance review time, it is often the reviewers skillful use of superla...Sign up
 

 
Reference for Railroads Passing Each Other
DSTEHL, Strategy Consultant, United States, Member
@Jaap de Jonge: "One year into the Civil War, a Republican-controlled Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act (186...Sign up
 

 
HR Dept., Insist on Quantifying Performance?
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
@Mallika T R: In what country is this the norm (HR insisting on quantifying the performance of the employees)? In my...Sign up
 

 
All That Obsesses You is Becoming a Trouble
FREDDY VILLAVICENCIO, Business Consultant, Venezuela, Premium Member
Performance metrics are needed to have a comparison tool between individuals who are doing the same activity and are competing in some way.
An or...Sign up
 

 
Performance Measurement of Managers is a Must
eduardo oliva, Professor, Mexico, Member
Organizations grow and excel through the achievement of defined goals and objectives. Consequently, a manager's performance has to be assessed in term...Sign up
 

 
Metrics are Essential for Managers as Well
Gabi Levin, Israel, Member
Hi Eduardo,
Your point about assessing managers is well taken, but let us examine what are the goals of a manufacturing guy on the floor, or a sa...Sign up
 

 
Quantities versus Qualities in Human Performance
Maurice Hogarth, Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
I believe that quantities i.e. measurability, are important.
However in relation to PEOPLE, the quantitative approach is not the totality (for ex...Sign up
 

 
Measuring or Quantifying the Efficiency of Knowledge Workers and/or Innovators
Jaap de Jonge, CEO, Netherlands, Editor
Of course it depends on the situation, but overall I am not a believer in ...Sign up
 

 
Metrics in the Innovative Realm
Gabi Levin, Israel, Member
I agree that metrics in an innovative realm are more problematic, and as you suggest, the manager has a complex role of coaching, teaching, motivating...Sign up
 

 
Working in the Cynefin Complex Domain
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Gabi Levin: The innovation realm you described is the "Complex" domain of the
 

 
Managers Needed that are Creative with Benchmarks
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
In essence as @Gary Wong and @Jaap de Jonge state, it takes a different kind of ma...Sign up
 

 
Cyclic Assessments Needed
eduardo oliva, Professor, Mexico, Member
Some 20 years ago, when applying root-cause analysis in a set of industrial case studies, my postgraduate students found out that no-single cause coul...Sign up
 

 
Distributed Ethnography as Cyclic Assessment
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Eduardo oliva: Actually there is one approach that does exist. It’s called Distributed Ethnography. In a nut...Sign up
 

 
A Growth Mindset to Fight Problems with Network Actions and Impacts
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
@Eduardo oliva: In away what you state is that to prevent problems you need co-workers that are able to recognize th...Sign up
 

 
Progress Evaluation is Situational
eduardo oliva, Professor, Mexico, Member
@Milan Grkovic: A good manager always has some means for evaluating most activities and, of course, their expected o...Sign up
 

 
Traditional Structures Plays Against Managers
FREDDY VILLAVICENCIO, Business Consultant, Venezuela, Premium Member
@Jaap de Jonge: I am pretty much agreeing with Jaap. Managers should become coaches rather than controllers, those d...Sign up
 

 
Traditional Structure Plays Against Managers
Dr. Alan Williams, Professor, Thailand, Member
I agree managers (including HR managers) must get away from being controllers. Working as senior consultant I've counselled many HR managers on this p...Sign up
 

 
Traditional Structure not Playing Against Managers
Gabi Levin, Israel, Member
This statement can easily be mistaken - I don't think it is the structure that plays against managers. The traditional structure doesn't inherently pr...Sign up
 

 
Questions when Quantifying or Measuring Human Performance
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and insights. Metrics are not to reward nor punish, but to learn and improve. There certainly is a legiti...Sign up
 

 
Traditional Structures Plays Against Managers
FREDDY VILLAVICENCIO, Business Consultant, Venezuela, Premium Member
@Gabi Levin: I love this part "So what is playing against managers if not the structure? It is the STATE OF MIND th...Sign up
 

 
Start with Question #7 when Considering Using Metrics
Norman Dragt, Netherlands, Member
@Gary Wong: I recommend every time you come up with the idea to use metrics, start with asking question number 7. O...Sign up
 

 
Distributed Ethnography as Cyclic Assessment
eduardo oliva, Professor, Mexico, Member
I would very much appreciate one of your recent papers on this topic. So far, my search on management related journals has not been successful. Thanks...Sign up
 

 
Distributed Ethnography Projects
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Eduardo oliva: “Ethnography” seeks to systematically study and describe an organization from the perspective of tha...Sign up
 

 
Human Talent Cannot Be Harmonized to Create a Metric Rule
FREDDY VILLAVICENCIO, Business Consultant, Venezuela, Premium Member
@Gary Wong: From my point of view it is hard to define metrics for human performance. Human talent is based on indi...Sign up
 

 
Shift the Paradigm
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@FREDDY VILLAVICENCIO: What you are lamenting is the essence of the book. We are under a tyrannical need to measure ...Sign up
 

 
Quantifying Performance
Melchiorre Calabrese, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
Guiding an organization without easuring the performance of individual collaborators or teams would be like piloting an aircraft without on-board inst...Sign up 22-10-2018
 

 
Quantifying Human Performance
eduardo oliva, Professor, Mexico, Member
Simply quantifying performance is fine. An obsession with it is not really necessary, as long as we always try our best. There are too many obsessions...Sign up 23-10-2018
 

 
Quantifying Performance
Mallika T R, Manager, India, Member
@Dr. Alan Williams: Companies from IT and real estate majors have adopted sophisticated benchmarking and other metri...Sign up 23-10-2018
 

 
Quantifying Human Performance
Melchiorre Calabrese, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
@eduardo oliva: "Obsession" is when the costs of measurement of performance are more than the benefits the organizat...Sign up 23-10-2018
 

 
 


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