Thursday, May 19, 2005

A diatribe about 'sloppyness'

Ah I am getting wound up by the sloppiness of some folks - whether they be consultants, academics or working in the same organisation. The more I work in the trade of 'economists' the more I see some builders out there who forgot to paint the skirting boards so to speak.

When I were a lad - I had my work scrutinised to the nth degree. As a junior consultant I was lucky to work for an organisation where all final reports had to be checked by a Director, where they were very reluctant for junior staff to actually write final reports. By the time you were allowed to go to town on a report, you had a fairly good idea of how to do it and that it must be to a high standard of detail and robustness.

And before that in postgrad I had a fairly pedantic supervisor who had an eye for detail.

And then I worked in the public sector where all our work was peer-reviewed and the boss had the final say and had very high quality standards.

Its this eye for detail that seems to be lacking. That and being sensible in having your work or report proof read by a peer. Oh and not being offended at having to change things.

Its hard to admit to mistakes but everyone makes them. No-one on their own can author a faultless piece of work or analysis.

I have seen a number of recent outputs from various folks. Some are a blessing and are well analysed, and the detail behind them has been carefully put together.

Others - I have been shocked by the sloppiness. The number of ambiguities or things that don't add up, badly written, make pretty unsubstantiated claims... the list goes on. I am stereotyping a bit.

I just wanted to rant and get that off my chest!


At 10:26 am, Blogger dearieme said...

At least it's only economics. Suppose that young engineers are recommending actions based on arguments and calculations that have not been critically scrutinised?


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