Tools of critical thinking — Control Overestimation

Last few days I was digging into meta thoughts on Critical thinking (a book, I could only recommend — )

I was delighted among the pages of a book to find some precise explanations to situations, when I felt, that maybe folks are over-optimistic, and things most likely will not end up as planned. From one side, it might be driven by my role, as IT Test Manager in a financial institution. From another side, even thou I am an optimist, I could see the potential risks everywhere without paying additional effort. It just in my blood. (Hmm, I guess we all know the story of a Casandra?…)

And here it, the metathought about control, which explains lots of risky decisions in our work and world:

We overestimate the control that we have over the events and underestimate the external factors that lie beyond our control.

Afterwards, we go even further.

We blame people in unlucky circumstances more than they should be.

What does it mean in practice? Well, it means, that

  • a bus will be late because of the street work
  • an elevator will be broken when your team member needs it and is already too later into the meeting
  • development team implement the requirement longer than planned because original information was not detailed enough
  • the test environment management team will have reduced capacity because of the illness
  • the production release will be delayed due to performance issues
  • the expected presentation will not be finished because of the missing input from another team
  • the online meeting will not be splendid because of homeworking internet issues

…. and I could continue the list forever. Unplanned things, dictated by the circumstances happen every time.

What we could do about it? Not much to start doing, but way more to stop doing:

Test manager, team lead, bookworm, writer and lifelong learner, traveler, passionate about new ideas and history. or

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