James O'Neill's Blog

September 28, 2007


Filed under: General musings — jamesone111 @ 9:51 am

Eileen says I’m auditory (rather than visual or Kinaesthetic ). Odd for someone who spends so much of his time on photographs … Does she say that because words fascinate me and I think up acronyms ? I coined the word Legumetrics – I just searched for it and no one else has ever used it. Legumes are peas and beans and metrics is the anything to do with measuring and counting. Legumetrics is the science of bean counting; I wouldn’t call someone a bean-counter but legumetricisit says it in a way which the accused will not understand.

Eileen being … Visual on this evidence …  wouldn’t have coined the term wyMiwyg.

You know of wySiwyg – what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Eileen and my previous boss, Robin, have both talked a phenomenon which I call What-you-MEASURE-is-what-you-get. It can be a good thing. As I type, I’m in the exhausted-but-elated state that’s come from doing the road-show with Steve – we had a complete revamp of how we present content because we listened to feedback and the result has been fantastic. {Next week, when I’m less exhausted I’ll post more background information for the Stuff we covered on the roadshow. Keep the feedback coming for next time and stuff you want me to post.}
But on the other hand,  Eileen and I have talked more than once about Manager X who took action Y because they were given an objective of increasing/reducing metric Z. Manager X might be outside Microsoft, or inside either in some remote division or  rather closer to our part of the organization chart. Action Y made no sense, except to meet a target – one seemingly created by someone who is themselves measured on the number of metrics they create for measuring others.

Yesterday I read two posts of Inspector Gadget that shows that wyMiwyg is more widespread than I realized. There has been plenty of discussion in political circles about whether the “Target culture” means that schools do what their masters assess, rather than what their  teachers judge , whether hospitals treat statistics with greater importance than they do patience. Gadget explains what happens when-customer-feedback-goes-mad and explains target culture from a Police angle

The Senior Management Team will pad softly with their hands full of paper and mugs of filter coffee towards the meeting room on the third floor…  They stop only to exchange knowing glances with the secretary and look at how we did over the weekend on the cover of the local paper.  Now they prepare to sit in judgement about events far away concerning people of whom they know nothing. There is more money in this room, more experience and more qualifications than have been deployed in the whole Division over the last 72 hours….

I will be dressed in body armour and street gear in case something happens and I have to leave in a hurry. This mode of dress makes the others feel uncomfortably numb.
People keep their distance in case there is a risk to be taken or a decision made. One which may effect people’s lives. Physical proximity might be enough to suggest joint responsibility….
The Orwellian phrases swirl around the room, Citizen Focus, Neighbourhood Partnerships, Today’s Policing Today, Problem Orientated Local Solution Based Initiatives. Phantom Battalions are moved around a non-existent battlefield.

Bonus link. If you’re surprised that Policemen can write beyond the “I was proceeding down the highway when I encountered the defendant” level, then  you need to read this which Gadget linked to. I’ve never had that kind of a bond with an animal and it made me want to cry.; if you have, then say something, OK ?

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


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