Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Judgment Under Uncertainty

Tom Peters' blog has this post about Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, by Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic, and Amos Tversky. They are psychologists. But Kahneman won the Nobel for Economics for prospect theory.

But the issue is making decisions in a world of uncertainty seems quite relevant to Agile. For the customer, for the business side, for the development team (including the Product Owner). Suffice to say that my bias is that people aren't always as rational as we sometimes think they are.

People have the idea that (a) a collect all the data needed, (b) I analyze it, and (c) I make the right decision. Most business people know this is a senseless model, totally unrealistic. As the head of Google said, he wants to get more "at bats" than anyone else. (This comment makes sense if you understand that Ted Williams story about batting averages. Ted Williams holds the highest career batting average in the majors of anyone with >500 home runs. It is .344.)

More on this later.

You might also wish to look up Kahneman and Tversky.

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