Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pay by productivity

I have often said that people should be selected and rewarded based on productivity, not mere experience. In fact, this belief forms the basis of the 'pay by productivity' contract system we use in the services division of Crystal Ball.

But today I'm not going to talk about how we do things at Crystal Ball. Instead, let me just point you to this very cool article on incentivizing, measuring and rewarding productivity.

Quoting:

Software defect measurements are frequently attributed to individual developers, but the development environment often conspires against individual developers and makes it impossible to write defect-free code. Instead of charting errors by developer, a systematic effort to provide developers with immediate testing feedback, along with a root cause analysis of remaining defects, is much more effective at reducing the overall software defect rate.

By aggregating defect counts into an informational measurement, and hiding individual performance measurements, it becomes easier to address the root causes of defects. If an entire development team, testers and developers alike, feel responsible for the defect count, then testers will tend to become involved earlier and provide more timely and useful feedback to developers. Defects caused by code integration will become everyone’s problem, not just the unlucky person who wrote the last bit of code.


It flies in the face of conventional wisdom to suggest that the most effective way to avoid the pitfalls of measurements is to use measurements that are outside the personal control of the individual being measured. But conventional wisdom is misleading. Instead of making sure that people are measured within their span of control, it is more effective to measure people one level above their span of control. This is the best way to encourage teamwork, collaboration, and global, rather than local, optimization.


Read the original article

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Is the world upside down?

Is the world upside down?
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