Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Human Factors Observation

People want to be precise, even if the situation does not call for it (even, in fact, if being precise works against the goal); give people a range that includes three options, and they will try to add more. I've seen this happen most with hiring, where people apparently cannot stick to yes/no/neutral assessment of a candidate, but must add "yes, but..." and "no, sorta..." options.

I've also now seen it with scoping. When we make our first pass at how long a project will take, we assign small/medium/large effort estimates to each task--or at least we did. I see that we have now added "extra-large" to the list of estimate options.

I'm not at all sure what this says about people, but I find it fascinating.


Pop Argot said...

Ha, I used to be the idget who would circle some halfway point between "3" and "4" when asked to rate things 1 to 10.

RJS said...

Nice login. :)