Wednesday, 21 May 2014

IKEA effect for improvement projects

The IKEA effect is the tendency for people to place a disproportionately high value on objects that they assembled themselves, such as furniture from IKEA, regardless of the quality of the end result (Wikipedia definition).

Unfortunately the same effect appears in many improvement projects I encounter, no doubt due to the same issues. After the investment of over coming the complexities of getting the thing working, the emotions involved, the panics, the restarts, etc etc, it's inconceivable there could be anything better. It's also inconceivable to throw it away and start again or replace it within living memory.

If the project has a great result, then that's just perfect. However, where the result is less than good, it's this IKEA effect that comes into play and makes the problem difficult to resolve. It's also known as inventoritis - when we fall in love with our inventions and lose the ability to customise them on the basis of feedback.

Do check your improvement work today. IKEA effect?

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