Analysis of Analysis
So we concur you are right and the world is wrong. But, what in the
world is the world thinking? As we illuminate this mismatching phenomenon with
analysis of our analyses, there is some useful terminology that comes into play.
"Analytics" is the term reserved for analyses that adhere to sound analytic
method, i.e. strict adherence to the principles of science. Bona fide analytics
test hypotheses objectively and sufficiently with the intent to achieve an accurate
"Pseudo analytics" are a facsimile of analytics, often referred to as
analyses but with the intent to mislead. Analyses are designed to achieve an outcome
other than as would be derived using an accurate and sufficient analytic method.
Pseudo analytics is a deliberate subterfuge, an analytic malfeasance
"Sociolytics" are a facsimile of analytics, entertained by society as
being analyses but within limits of comfort. Self-imposed constraints on the solution
resulting from misconceptions, tailoring to belief systems, or simply avoiding
discomfort, is a game we play with ourselves to evade an inconvenient truth. This
behavior renders us simultaneously comfortable and wrong. This is a more insidious
problem as we willingly do it to ourselves.
Project management analyses are replete with sociolytic fallacies. A project
team that forges ahead to achieve success on our behalf must first confront the
warped perspective and turn it in favor of reality truth being the first
casualty in war.
To enhance the water cooler talk, the following terms can also be added to
- Argument from Authority (Argumentum ad Vercecundiam) fallacy of appealing
to authority, ceding your own good analyses to that of a recognized and respected
voice The big company over there said it, therefore, it must be right.
This is fallacious if the respected voice is wrong.
- Cognitive Bias believing what you want to believe.
- Band Wagon Effect suggests that if everyone is doing it, we should
- Conflict of Interest the analyst has a vested interest in a particular
result that obscures analytic integrity.
- Group Think substitute pride of membership or belonging for reasoned
- Over Simplification covering up complexities the appeal to simpler
- Stereotyping using a generalization that does not apply to the whole
group for example, project management as the panacea.
- Traditional Wisdom argumentation that a convention is good because
it has been used in the past we do it this way, therefore we will do it
It is hoped that, by putting a name to the phenomenon, we can spot these behaviors
as they occur.