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AWC2015 - Post Event Version

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Scott McArthur

on 5 March 2017

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Transcript of AWC2015 - Post Event Version

"God help England if she had no Scots to think for her."
"D.C. residents drink more wine per capita than residents of any of the 50 states"
George Bernard Shaw
"why facts don't change people"
"Agile projects" have the potential to save vast amounts of money and improve systems and business performance.....right
"... describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.." Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2008)
Black Swan Events
"...one in six of the projects....with a cost overrun of
on average..." Bent Flyvbjerg
Flyberg (& others) identified three key issues which must be changed to improve success rates
Technical &
Estimating Problems
(Conspiracy of Optimism)
So this is what happens when it's a matter of
"We have a problem captain...."
So CRISIS does not make people change and neither does good ANALYSIS and INFORMATION
"Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think" Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier
HBR, Sept 2011
life and death
A balance must be found between the search for generalisations/frameworks and a recognition of the complexity of human's reaction to facts
People like frameworks
"The productivity paradox"
“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics”

Robert Solow, Nobel laureate in economics,
I'm from the darkside
Solutions in search of a problem
"...from human remains to human resources.."
Severe cognitive dissonance
…“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent…it is the one that is most adaptable to change“.
…when people with strong beliefs are faced with equally strong, opposing beliefs (or facts), their beliefs often become stronger.
The facts don't work in isolation
Framing how you present your data therefore becomes critical if you are to move people's opinions and behaviours
...we all have biases and strong beliefs in some situations.

So what can be done to counteract this elemet of human nature?
“It may be that we are puppets. Puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our
is the first step to our liberation."

Stanley Milgram (1974)
In the 1960s, the social psychologist Stanley Milgram's famous research study showed that, despite our personal beliefs etc. people have a strong tendency to comply with authority figures.
Alan Deutschman, Fast Company
Dr. Edward Miller
(retired Dean of Johns Hopkins)
"Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think" Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier - HBR, Sept 2011

"Survival of the unfittest: why the worst infrastructure gets built—and what we can do about it" Bent Flyvbjerg - Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 25, Number 3, 2009, pp.344–367
some individuals when confronted with evidence that conflicts with their beliefs come to hold their original position even more strongly
The backfire effect....
"We may think we're being scientists (or engineers), but we're actually being lawyers"
"motivated reasoning"
It's a "basic human survival skill, We push threatening information away whilst we pull friendly information close.
after Arthur Lupia
self-worth “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.”
Stronger Conclusions
We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.
Getting the best from...
..why facts don't change people
& better decisions
after Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt
+44 7807 646 508
Scott's TEDx "Why facts dont change people" Warwick, 28th February 2015

All key concepts by Scott D McArthur (Sculpture Consulting Ltd)
Images are used via the creative commons license
Agile Workplace Conference
California Academy of Sciences
there is more to human beings than that
Brynjolfsson, Erik (1993). "The productivity paradox of information technology". Communications of the ACM 36 (12): 66–77. doi:10.1145/163298.163309. ISSN 0001-0782.
"we have moved from broadcasting to narrowcasting"
awareness is the first step...

“Facts don’t work in isolation. Our belief systems – religion, music, health – they’re massive. Very few organizations talk about context. They talk about ROI, etc. But the good news is, it’s starting to change.” Scott D McArthur, AWC2015
Photo by Paul Bohman of White Ribbon Studios.
Photo by Paul Bohman of White Ribbon Studios.
Full transcript