In the Software Asset Management (SAM) industry it usually pays to have some degree of skepticism.
Skepticism for what? Here are some samples:
- Skepticism among software customers: “We feel entitled to a certain amount of software products and are skeptical of claims made to the contrary.”
- Skepticism among SAM managers or consultants: “We cannot fully establish an accurate software license position (SLP) until we see evidence of discovery and license entitlement.”
- Skepticism among software suppliers: “Our customers occasionally use more of our software than that to which they are entitled.”
From time-to-time we at Siwel (www.siwel.com) see these different views collide.
Sometimes someone makes an honest mistake and software license rights must be corrected and/or additional fees paid. At other times, a party’s skepticism leads to excess confrontation or churn. In the more extreme cases we see customers migrate away from software products rather than deal with a supplier’s apparent skepticism.
So is there such a thing as the correct degree of skepticism? How much is too much?
R. Kathy Hurtt, in her 2010 article: Development of a Scale to Measure Professional Skepticism. AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory: May 2010, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 149-171, created a scale for measuring degrees of skepticism (see “Skepticism Scale” below).*
Are you interested in measuring YOUR degree of skepticism?
Try-out the 5-minute challenge below (there’s no single correct answer) to assess YOUR degree of skepticism. The range is 30-180, with higher scores meaning more skeptical. Students might fall in the ~120 range. Auditors might tend higher. Circle the value that best shows how you generally feel about each item then add up the scores at the bottom.
|Strongly Disagree||Strongly Agree|
|I often accept other people’s explanations without further thought.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I feel good about myself.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I wait to decide on issues until I can get more information.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|The prospect of learning excites me.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I am interested in what causes people to behave the way that they do.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I am confident of my abilities.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I often reject statements unless I have proof that they are true.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Discovering new information is fun.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I take my time when making decisions.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I tend to immediately accept what other people tell me.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|Other people’s behavior does not interest me.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I am self-assured.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|My friends tell me that I usually question things that I see or hear.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I like to understand the reason for other people’s behavior.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I think that learning is exciting.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I usually accept things I see, read, or hear at face value.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I do not feel sure of myself.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I usually notice inconsistencies in explanations.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Most often I agree with what the others in my group think.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I dislike having to make decisions quickly.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I have confidence in myself.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I do not like to decide until I’ve looked at all of the readily available information.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I like searching for knowledge.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I frequently question things that I see or hear.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|It is easy for other people to convince me.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I seldom consider why people behave in a certain way.||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|I like to ensure that I’ve considered most available information before making a decision.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I enjoy trying to determine if what I read or hear is true.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I relish learning.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|The actions people take and the reasons for those actions are fascinating.||1||2||3||4||5||6|
*Reprinted with the permission of the copyright owner.
So what was your score? Is your degree of skepticism appropriate for your role?
Was this helpful? We welcome your comments.