I'm currently looking at some areas of why some managers and stakeholders are so interested in test case counting, amongst other things. At the same time I had the animation (below) pointed out to me (it's based on a Dan Pink talk - you can find him on TED).
If you replace the motivation examples (in the animation) with a drive towards test case counting then you see a lot of similarities to software testing. If you think of the test case counting as the mechanical work - or the non-cognitive skill demanding work then you might recognise:
- Measuring work based on test case counting -> worse performance.
- Measuring and rewarding work based on mechanical skill (little/no thought implied) -> button pressing testing -> worse performance.
Dan goes on to suggest a way to get away from this type of de-motivation and towards a more motivated form of work, using Autonomy, Mastery and Challenge - aspects that are important where cognitive skills are necessary in ones daily work. He gives examples where this has worked in various communities.
If you have these in your daily work then I guess you're quite happy about it. If not, does this bother you?
Enjoy the animation!
Time to think about what's motivating you in your daily work...