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Under pressure
February 7th, 2011 by Joca

Jason Yip just reminded me about the “under pressure” situation:

When people are pressured to meet targets they have three ways to respond:

  1. Improve the system
  2. Distort the system
  3. Distort the data

Fonte: Jason Yip’s blog

Yip is reading what seems to be a very good book on variation, Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos. In this book the author Donald J. Wheeler, according to an Amazon.com reviewer, “provides managers a rational way to look at daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly figures and tell whether the actions they take have resulted in improvement”. It seems to be a very interesting book from what Yip’s been posting:

Understanding Variation

Understanding Variation


Well, another book for my future reading list. Hopefully it will have a Kindle version soon.

Under pressure

Going back to the “under pressure” topic:

When people are pressured to meet targets they have three ways to respond:

  1. Improve the system
  2. Distort the system
  3. Distort the data

Fonte: Jason Yip’s blog

That’s a good way to see the possible outcomes of a group of people under pressure.

I like to use balloon as a metaphor to help understand under pressure situations.

Balloon

Balloon


Here’s why:

  • there’s pressure from inside and from outside.
  • pressure from inside and from outside needs to be balanced.
  • to much pressure from the inside or to little pressure from outside and balloon explodes.
  • to much pressure from the outside or to little pressure from inside and the balloon explodes unless it is one of those balloons where the more outside pressure it gets the harder it is to explode.

Lessons learned

  • There’s no such thing as “no pressure”. A group of people needs pressure from outside (the goal, the target date, lack of resources) as well as from inside (motivation) to exist and do things, just like a balloon.
  • Inside pressure and outside pressure needs to be balanced with some tendency to have a bit more pressure from the outside.
  • Under pressure, a group of people either explode or get stronger.
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