Tag Archives: data

Why ‘Year-To-Date’ is Rubbish

‘Year-to-date’ figures are often used in performance frameworks, both in the public and private sectors. In policing, ‘year-to-date’ figures are regularly used to track the number of reported crimes at any given point in the year, supposedly as an indicator of whether the police … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Panic!

There’s… “Panic on the streets of London! Panic on the streets of Birmingham!” So says the song of the same title by UK band The Smiths, anyway. The true story that follows (yes, I’ve caved in to popular demand and … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Bells! The Bells!

“About half of everything is below average”. When you think about that, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Well keep that thought in mind as we explore a widely misapplied and misunderstood tool of performance management – The Bell Curve. Without … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Spot The Difference

Sometimes when I say this… …people hear this: Not being able to differentiate between targets, measures and priorities is a deadly obstacle to effective performance. Let me explain why… Targets First of all, if you’ve ever met me, heard me … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Poo-Pooing Performance Indicators

At the beginning of the ‘Bad Performance Measurement On Tour’ series I issued a call-to-arms for eagle-eyed readers, asking them to send me their examples of bad performance measurement. Twitter user @Wiggies13 responded to this rallying cry and sent me the … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

(Not So) Bad Performance Measurement On Tour (#3)

‘Data have no meaning apart from their context’. – Donald Wheeler Cast your mind back to Episode One of this series. No beer, no food, no chillies; just trains. The examples provided in that blog post highlighted the dire (but … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Bad Performance Measurement on Tour (#1)

A friend at work told me that whilst giving blood recently, he noticed there were performance indicators on a nearby board showing the number of blood donations, in the dreaded ‘this week vs last week’ format. Nothing’s sacred, is it? Anyway, this … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How To Lose Weight With Systems Thinking

One of the key tenets of systems thinking is understanding variation. Deming said: “Life is variation. Variation there will always be, between people, in output, in service, in product”. This applies to weight loss as much as everything else. People … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Stay Calm And Don’t Knee-Jerk.

At school my least favourite subject was maths. I could never quite understand the point of learning how to calculate the volume of a traffic cone or surface area of a football. Fast forward a few years to my early … Continue reading

Posted in Systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments