The Hindsight Bias – Be Agile – Learn and Re-Learn

Ever wonder why there’s the saying “hindsight is 20/20”- it’s because psychologists have proven our bias towards thinking outcomes must have turned out the way they did and we are convinced we knew it all along .

So what’s the problem?

Because of this bias we may not be learning from our fumbles and that’s a shame.  See here:

The hindsight bias is our tendency towards thinking that things must have turned out the way they actually have. The hindsight bias can be a problem when it stops us learning from our mistakes. If the entrepreneurs knew how biased their estimates of success were, would they have done things differently? … how will they learn to consider alternatives? – Jeremy Dean, @PsyBlog

What’s the solution?

Honestly look at our judgements and provide/think of alternative ways things could have turned out. I think Daily Scrums and Retrospectives help Agile teams see how differently things could done  if teams were not wrapped up in hindsight BLINDness.

What do you think?  Is hindsight always 20/20 as the saying goes?

Do you think hindsight bias is always unproductive and negative? How do Agile teams guard against bias? Is it just “per unusual” in creating product and we who design and create just have to get on with it?


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4 Responses to “The Hindsight Bias – Be Agile – Learn and Re-Learn”

  1. Karol McCloskey
    July 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    I’m still a student of Agile practices, even though my feet are built from “tech” – keep me on the path to understanding and I’ll be sure to spread the word “Mktg Agile” is awesome!


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