Joel understand the business end of software development pretty well:
Consulting company comes in, gets all the programmers in a room, tells them all about Function Points and stuff, and how productivity is REALLY IMPORTANT.
Programmers remember that scene from Office Space where Bob and Bob, the consultants, recommended all the people to get fired.
Programmers start writing a heck of a lot more function points. For example you can triple the number of function points in your code simply by round tripping everything through an XML file. Big waste of time, prone to bugs, does nothing, but each file you touch adds a function point. W00t!
Some companies manage this sort of thing without the outside consultants. Some important executive reads a book. The book has important tips on improving productivity. All the people reporting to the executive get a copy of the book, and are told how much there is to learn from it.
The message as it's received down in the trenches?
"The beatings will continue until morale improves"
What most shops need is less "help" from above, and more real autonomy.