top of page

McKinsey's Report on Measuring Developer Productivity Sparks Outrage

From the People AND Tech Podcast episode: S1E4 - McKinseyGate

This has popped on our radar last week when it came out. Everyone, or almost everyone in the tech community has seen it at the same time. It's all we've all been kind of flabbergasted looking at this report that looked quite 1992 from and for a while we kind of dismissed it and we thought surely it was going to be serious. But then we had quite quickly some voices in technology look at the meat of it and become immediately appalled by quite the same things.

And I think most of us independently came to the same reaction separately over the last few days, which is that the existence of this piece of writing from McKinsey as an indication that it's okay to be measuring developers under this terminology and with the assumptions they have in place regarding what is coding versus non -coding time is an absolute abomination. And one that I would say is can be dramatic because quite frankly in the day and age where mental health is so precarious and we have such crisis at work, throwing things out there that are potentially problematic is scary. We should all be wary, right? Especially when you consider who's McKinsey's audience are. But you have to admit from a CEO point of view you have to care about sales, marketing and engineering and it's a lot - I don't want to hear it.

If you are making any kind of technology as a CEO and you are not a tech person, you should be ashamed of yourself. I don't think it's even contentious. If you are a technology company and you are a non -technology minded CEO, which is my point of contention with the audience of the report - If you consider yourself a technology company, you must have a technology visionary at your helmet. At the very minimum, someone who is a technologist at heart and gets bloody architecture, latest trends, what learning means, how to move people and how to be an inspiration leader at the same time. You cannot be winning otherwise. We have to start eliminating these allowances that create Human Debt.


bottom of page