Decision hygiene is to product and service selection as testing is to software development. Skip them at your peril.
Decisions about technology can be noisy affairs.
(Please take a moment to relive one you were part of.)
As Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein masterfully point out in Noise (2021), noise is different than bias. It’s an independent contributor to infelicitous results in professional (and other) judgments. Noise tends to be an invisible enemy. Bias, more obvious, moves decisions in particular directions; noise just adds errors through unwanted variability. Responsible decision-makers seek to minimize both.
The Noise authors provide vivid examples of judgments in which noise plays a role, including some in law, like judicial sentencing decisions, which have been shown to turn on such things as the outside temperature or whether the local city’s football team won its most recent game. Contexts like insurance underwriting can operate like lotteries. As the authors say, “wherever there is judgment, there is noise” (p 12). We are all noisy.
Continue Reading Keeping the noise down in tech selection (325)