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  Monday, February 24, 2003

I was recently reaquainted with the management consultant concept that "you manage what you measure." Which started me thinking about what we measure. If you measure hours, you're managing hours. Measure words or pages, that's what you're managing. Why? Because that's the message your employees receive--they'll pay attention to what's measured. So now consider if what you're measuring is really what you want to manage. Salaried professionals don't expect to be judged by the time they spend (well, maybe lawyers, who track billable hours. . .), they expect to be judged by what they produce. That's what makes management by metrics at conflict with management by objectives. But then I'm getting out of my element here, so we'll leave it here.
7:33:40 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Scientists Question the Value of Shuttle Flights. Scientists outside NASA have concluded that the payoff for putting people in space is nowhere near enough to justify the cost and risks. By James Glanz and Richard A. Oppel Jr.. [New York Times: Science]

As the authors note, questioning the value of putting people in space to do jobs satellites and robots could do is not news. There was, in fact, scientific opposition to the space shuttle program when it was making its way through Congress a quarter century ago. But--again noted by the authors--men in space is an idea that has a hold on Congress in a way that few ideas can. But the scientific justifications just aren't there.

7:18:53 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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