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Watch Out for Transparency

by French Caldwell  |  February 9, 2009  |  2 Comments

Transparency is all well and good in theory, but in practice here is how it works:

First the auditors want to know if we have the required device to measure time, so we show them that we have a watch:

but then the auditors tell us we have to have more detail, so we show them that the watch face has numbers and a minute and an hour hand,

then they tell us it has to have even more accuracy, so we add a second hand,

and then they want to know how it is that we can know that the watch is really reliable down to the second, so we remove the face plate to provide tranasparency to all the complex gearing inside,

— and then they hit us with a significant deficiency because they can’t tell what time it is.


French Caldwell
VP and Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
19 years IT industry

French Caldwell is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research, where he leads governance, risk and compliance research. Mr. Caldwell also writes and presents on knowledge management. His research includes analysis of the impact… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Watch Out for Transparency

  1. Majid Iqbal says:

    The watch metaphor :-)

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