It has been shown that when humans are aware that they are being observed, they change their behavior. This phenomenon, which is known as the the Hawthorne Effect, is named after an early-20th-century study that was conducted by Western Electric at their Hawthorne Works location in Cicero, Illinois. During the study, various changes were made to the environment that workers were in, and over the course of the study, worker productivity, along with other metrics, rose to all-time highs. Soon after the study ended, however, the metrics reverted to where they had been before the study was initiated. It is important for us to keep the Hawthorne Effect in mind when collecting and interpreting data related to human behaviors in the workplace, such as velocity, a popular measure in Agile software development.
Hawthorne Effect Video
Hawthorne Effect Podcasts
Hawthorne Effect Example
Authored by Philip Rogers
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