Imaginary Numbers = Lies
Got you! I bet you were thinking this was going to be a complicated math post. It is not, but it is about metrics. Companies often employ measurement (at least they should) to determine the state of a variety of endeavors that are moving through the organization. For example, a project will set up measurements of performance to provide mechanism for making a variety of decisions. The same is true for manufacturing; measurements are taken to allow for monitor for non conformance and the application of control mechanisms in the event.
Better look good!
The problem comes when the numbers are fabricated. We have written on this topic a few times, and there is a reason. It seems this is a fairly common practice, make things look good via measurement doctoring, rather than correct the issues that produce the measurements you do not like! It seems as though it is more important how things appear, than the presentment of the actual situation. North Carolina state motto, “esse quam videri” which translated means “to be, rather than to seem”; would never apply. I am not sure if this is a deception intended to be perpetuity, or if this is the face out to the executive, project gate reviewing body, to the citizenry (by both political parties) or to the shareholders while silently working to correct in the background. However, this misrepresentation or a deliberately errant characterization the state is an irresponsible, unethical and sometimes an illegal act.
Lies Lies Lies
Ultimately, these lies or “imaginary” numbers that seem to make the organization look good for now, will be its own undoing in the future. This seemingly cancerous disease is everywhere, politics, personal life and business. To improve the situation requires recognition and elimination of these lying practices; the sooner the restoration of trust the sooner actual improvements.