Groundhog Day and the Makings of Useful Statistics

Groundhog Day and the Makings of Useful Statistics

Groundhog Day has come and passed, and that furry little prognosticator has said there will be six more weeks of winter. Since we are stuck inside, we are biding our time by being statistics nerds.  That led us to take a look at Punxsutawney Phil's analysis skills...and how the tradition hampers any real learning from his data set. It is rather ridiculous to believe in a meteorologically gifted rodent, but it's not too surprising since we are rather ridiculous prognosticators ourselves.  The author Daniel Kahnneman points out this fact in the first 14 chapters of Thinking Fast and Slow. What's Phil's winning record? Punxsutawney Phil, whom we like to think is the REAL groundhog, has a track record that is somewhat disputed. What’s our data set? Over the 139 years there in northern PA, he’s predicted six more weeks 99 times, and early spring 15 times. (Some records have been lost…those must be the ones that Bill Murray kept reliving.) If we look at...
Read More

One Game Changer for Better Problem Solving

What happens when your team encounters a problem?  Moan. Complain. Ignore. Hide? Problem solving is a day-to-day occurrence for project teams. The team is in uncharted territory, creating something new, so things are bound to come up. The question is, what do we do when the "stuff hits the fan." Here's one approach to improve your team's problem solving...play!!  See our video below where Amanda explains the connection. How do you integrate play into work?  It depends what sort of prediction you hope to improve. Understanding my teammates:  Almost any game will do. As Plato said "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Party games: communication preferences (e.g. Cranium, Balderdash, etc.) Strategy board games: tolerance for risk (e.g. Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, etc.) Team games: group decision making (e.g. Family feud) Understanding my work: This is one of eNthusaProve's sweet spots to help clients.  We love turning work scenarios into games to...
Read More

Taking on Project Risk…Together

Risk. We dread it and we love it. Or is it, we dread it OR we love it? Understanding this about ourselves and those we work with can make a project a lot more enjoyable. Risk is everywhere. Our financial advisors reiterate at every turn “current success does not indicate future gains.”  Moms excel at dreading about risk with the worry lines to prove it. Yet, we also love risk. We watch football players risk injury every game to play a game they love.  We play games “of chance”, putting our money or our bragging rights out there at risk of loss. Nearly every new endeavor has an element of risk, or, to put it in the nerdy way, has a probability of some sort of severe consequence. When we work on a project together as a team, how do we deal with risk? We bring our different perceptions of risk together to make decisions to manage the project. Team decision-making has become...
Read More