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Re: Measuring programmer quality

by ajt (Prior)
on Oct 25, 2007 at 09:33 UTC ( #647118=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Measuring programmer quality

When Labour came to power in the UK they introduced many tests and targets for all levels of government to improve standards. Staff were "empowered" to do anything they wanted to meet the targets and as the targets were correlated with good service what could go wrong?

One police force reclassified most minor crimes as disturbances giving them a massive reduction in reported crime. Hospitals reclassified corridors as "transit wards" and took the wheels of trollies declaring them as beds - now there are no patients waiting on trollies in corridors...!

Even with the best intentions and mostly decent people, if there is pressure to conform to arbitrary standards people conform to the standard even if it's no benefit to the end user in any way. While some people feel very smug, the whole targets process has been a vast waste of money and probably done more harm than good.

Having just gone through a Lean Six Sigma training course, it is vital that you measure the things that the end user actually cares about, not things that may just correlate with them. However, it is really, really hard to come up with good targets and tests and if you get them wrong you will do a lot of harm as the UK government has...


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