I work at a software development company. Right now we're doing testing for a new release of the software. As 'motivation' our boss told us that we need to have X number of different kinds of activities within the software to avoid working on a Saturday.
Two weeks of server issues where no one could access the application but for intermittent periods with extremely SLOWWW connections, topped with errors that don't let you proceed on to the next steps of testing have left most far beneath the required numbers.
Today he sent out a spreadsheet of who had completed what requirements and was exempt from Saturday testing. I am OK and have the numbers needed only because once they finally DID fix the server (yesterday) I was able to hammer out completely ridiculous, repetitious testing activities that do absolutely nothing to really help with knowing what will happen when users are in the application. (They aren't going to sit there and enter the same thing over and over again).
Good testing should be done from the perspective of a real user, doing real tasks, moving from one area of the software to another in a logical order. Creating things that link together, work out issues and bugs as you go... but no. He's got everyone playing a numbers game, doing the poorest testing job in the history of the company to avoid working on a weekend.
The idea sounds great in theory, but it has only made a lot of people waste time on things that don't need to be tested at the expense of things that really DO need to be tested.
And I'll be getting the support calls in a month when we roll this out and things blow up.
Edit: Sorry, forgot to ask the question.
What is it about seeming 'good ideas' that always makes them so vulnerable to failure? What is the best way to motivate people without losing your real goal?