Having second thoughts!

I have commented in the past on Gartner consultant Andrea Di Maio’s interesting reports and the latest posting on his weblog is very appropriate since he suggests, when talking about portal strategies, that: “doing a triage between necessary, desirable and optional functionalities, which was advisable at the time, becomes imperative today.” I’d take that one step further and say this applies to the entire e-government approach, which I suspect he may be indirectly making, although some consultants still have a tendency to think in terms of the web, whilst disregarding the broader channel strategy.

Brendan McCarron (http://www.cipfanetworks.net/pin/performance/) has also supplied me some useful information in the past and the latest newsletter, number 94, from the CIPFA Performance Improvement Network bears a useful article entitled Performance Tube around a lecture from Professor Christopher Hood that is uploaded to YouTube! He also provides a nice summary for those averse to the technology.
Primarily, one of the matters mentioned is Goodhart’s Law which states that:

Once a social or economic indicator or other surrogate measure is made a target for the purpose of conducting social or economic policy, then it will lose the information content that would qualify it to play such a role.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart’s_law

This, I then found raised on another useful blog:

http://atomiq.org/archives/2008/01/goodharts_law_and_social_web_design.html

and one of his comments around web metrics was that Goodhart’s Law works because “Part of the problem in all three cases is that leaderboards and ranking systems encourage people to learn how to work the algorithm rather than engage in the socially productive behaviour that the algorithm is there to promote.”

Hence my dislike of targets and performance indicators and my preference towards feedback as a mechanism for improving services!

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