Spot The Difference

Sometimes when I say this…

Spot the difference 1

…people hear this:

Spot the difference 2

Not being able to differentiate between targets, measures and priorities is a deadly obstacle to effective performance. Let me explain why…


First of all, if you’ve ever met me, heard me speaking, or read any of my stuff, you’ll have come across my theory on targets. It’s straightforward. Only two bits to it. Here’s a reminder:

Targets theory

The reason that all numerical targets are arbitrary is because there is no known scientifically-accepted method of setting one. The traditional method of setting a target usually involves simply looking at last year’s performance then adding or subtracting a few percent. That’s it.

As a ‘method’, this is rubbish because it disregards the capability of the system and natural variation. It ignores all the fluctuations in the data that have occurred during the previous 12 months. It means that the ‘benchmark’ chosen is unstable and the assumption about performance is therefore flawed. It assumes that the system knows the target is there and will respond to it (it doesn’t and it won’t!) It ignores the fact that the greatest opportunity for improving performance lies in making systemic adjustments rather than berating, comparing, or otherwise trying to ‘motivate’ the workers to achieve the target. That’s the first part of the theory.

Next, when you hear people say that targets have an effect on performance, they’re right. Targets make performance worse. This brings us to the second part of the theory…

Targets change behaviour. Rather than collectively focusing on achieving the system’s purpose, individuals and departments are inadvertently placed into competition with each other, meaning that they turn their effort and ingenuity inward and focus attention on what the target makes them concentrate on. This happens at the expense of other equally important aspects of work that are not subject of targets. Numerical targets cause inter-departmental rivalries, cheating, gaming, data distortions, higher costs, lower morale, worse service delivery and all manner of other horrible consequences.

There are numerous papers and studies which demonstrate that these things always happen when targets are introduced into the mix. I know of no numerical target that is immune from causing such dysfunctional behaviour, hence part two of the theory.


Unlike targets, measures are really important. Unless you measure stuff happening in your system it is impossible to know how it is performing. The key is in this phrase:

Spot the difference - measures

First of all you need to determine measures that are derived from purpose. This means understanding what your system is there to do (e.g. ‘to help people and catch baddies’ / ‘to produce great widgets’ / ‘to help kids learn about stuff’), then ensure that your measures help to tell you whether you are doing this. If you choose the wrong measures you will never learn anything about how your system is really performing. Worse still, if you choose the wrong measures it makes people do the wrong things.

If you choose the right measures, you’re on the way! Next, all you have to do is measure them right. Don’t rely on ‘this year vs last year’ / ‘this month vs last month’ / ‘today vs yesterday’ to assess performance (or anything else for that matter). Why? Because it’s pants. It doesn’t tell you anything about performance. It ignores variation. It only enables performance to be envisioned in one of two ways:

Green arrow - up


Red arrow - down

…and that’s as about much use as a chocolate fireguard if you’re trying to understand your system. Judging performance by making such binary comparisons leads to terrible decision-making and wasteful, unnecessary deployments. Don’t do it!

Instead, plot your data using one of these:

spc chart

It’s a lovely control chart (or SPC chart). Without boring you with the science bit, this wonderful invention tells you about the actual performance of your measures. It provides a ‘voice’ for your system to tell you what’s happening. Unless there are recognised signals or trends in the data (e.g. if a data point shoots out of one of the control limits), then usually it’s best not to react if the zig zags go up or down a bit. This is just normal variation and is seen in any set of data, whether you are tracking crime rates, widget production, or the number of red cars that drive past your house every day.

The key is to intelligently interpret the data from the measures – use the information to understand the capability of your system, look for recognised trends (if there are any) and identify opportunities for improving future performance through systemic changes. When used in this manner, the right measures provide you with an evidence base from which to make decisions, initiate systemic adjustments and determine priorities. Which leads us to…


If priorities are established from an evidence base (such as described above) you will be addressing the right things. These are the things that are linked to purpose from the customer or service user’s perspective. In policing, we like to stop crime from happening, so it could be argued that ‘to reduce violent crime’ is an appropriate priority for the police. No one would argue with that.

If ‘to reduce violent crime’ is therefore designated as a priority, it makes sense to track the rate of violent crime as a measure. If this measure is measured right, it enables us to see the true extent of violent crime and respond accordingly.

Three Different Things

Therefore, we have a priority which is underpinned by appropriate measures. I never trash priorities or measures – they help us keep the system on course to achieve its purpose.

The problem comes where your priority has a numerical target tagged on to it, for example:

‘To reduce violent crime by 9%‘.

Why? Nowhere do you need a numerical target.

And don’t worry, if you take that target away, nothing bad will happen.

It will if you leave it there though.

So, next time you hear me saying we should abandon numerical targets, listen carefully – I’m not saying ‘targets AND measures AND priorities’. Just targets.

In summary:

o Priorities are important (when evidence based).
o Measurement (when done properly) is necessary.
o Numerical targets are bad.

About InspGuilfoyle

I am a serving Police Inspector and systems thinker. I am passionate about doing the right thing in policing. I dislike numerical targets and unnecessary bureaucracy.
This entry was posted in Systems thinking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Spot The Difference

  1. ThinkPurpose says:

    I am constantly surprised when people repeat back to me, confidently, things that they think I think.
    Twice in one meeting two different people said I didn’t like measures.
    When I said to someone else that work I had been part of had been done without a plan other than the plan to get data and organise the experiment, that person didn’t hear that, they heard I was some kind of anarchist. A wacky funster who denied any and all words written down as intention.
    Whether a to-do list, a small plan for organising my own work etc these apparently I all deny.
    When I said to an auditor that performance management (meaning all the paraphernalia of reports, approval, targets and whatnot) wasn’t needed in a systems place, he heard nobody looked at measures or tried to understand the work using data.

    I’ve found it is just impossible to talk about work from one mental model with someone who is operating from within another mental model that is the complete opposite of it.

  2. There is a wider challenge when you try and explain this logic to someone who only knows a completely opposite mental model. In the opposite world, all activity is driven by targets. Performance is measured ‘against target’. Are you on track or not? Are you in the Red or the Green? No target means it’s not important. Meeting the target is the only thing that matters.

    If you just replace ‘targets’ with ‘measures’, people from the opposite world will just see another set of targets. It’s inevitable. Put one team’s statistical control chart against another team’s SPC, and the managers will instantly see a league table, whereby the target is to get your SPC better than your opponent’s. If you take away targets, units will often just invent their own.

    So you have to change the target regime. But you also have to change the target culture.

    • You and ThinkPurpose both make really important and cogent points about mental models. You’re right – it is all about THINKING, and without a change from the conventional Western management thinking disposition on performance measurement there is this very real danger that even lovely SPC charts will be used as a ranking tool to identify those who are ‘below average’.

  3. Principled Policing says:

    Can I play devils advocate…….If I were to say that I didn’t get or understand Systems Thinking I would be lying. The beauty of its simplicity beggars belief, the number of “light bulb” moments I have had whilst reading the books surprised me if I am honest. However having read many of those said books and pondering on the last twenty years of my life (with the police) I can’t help but think “the emperors new clothes”. This prompted me to do some old fashioned research and ask myself the question “where did it all go wrong”. Lets not kid ourselves but ever since the inception of modern day policing we have used things to control the organisation the Peelian principles (of which there are nine) are one example and more recently we have had the diagnostic performance,policy and compliance (PPC) regime. The latter has afforded absolutely no felxibility and has resulted in us running away from our core purpose faster than dare I say Mr.Bolt himself. That led me to think about how it was when I joined the police (1992) prior to the impact of the PPC regime and prior to public services having to contemplate new ways of doing old things. I will say that back then we policed in a “systems thinking style”, response PC’s were multi-functional, multi-skilled professionals who understood their purpose and delivered against it. Many many problems were solved at first point of contact wether that be in the comms room or the doorstep. We are where we are due to the desire of successive governments for “public sector reform”, careers have been built on targets, league table and compliance. ACPO have not dared stand up to the paymaster for fear of reprisal, not even now at a time of unprecedented financial challenges have we articulated the problem(s) they have created and where it has left the modern day police service. If over the years ACPO would have stood firm and challenged when it was plainly obvious where we were heading, would we have needed to contemplate systems thinking?.
    My view is we should return to the flexibility that Peels principles gave us, police against our core purpose “prevent and detect crime and protect communities” and stop hitting the target whilst missing the point.

    • Where did it all go wrong? That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times as well. I joined the police in 1985. The only computer then was a rather new incident dispatch system. You always aimed to deal with all the incidents that came in during your shift – it was a matter of pride not to have incidents to handover to the next shift. An urgent job was an urgent job – ie something you needed to get to quickly to save life or catch an offender. Not because it was on a list of ‘priorities’. But there were no response time targets, and there would have been no way of telling whether you were hitting those targets anyway.

      If you wanted to count crimes and detections, you had to keep a book with a 5-bar gate running, or else wait for the official stats to come out – usually about 3 weeks after the end of the month. There was no reduction target – we tried to catch burglars and help people take crime prevention measures. If a target had been set, there would have been no way of telling mid-month whether you were on track or not.

      We’ve become so used to Excel that I think we’ve forgotten how difficult it is to produce a spreadsheet on a typewriter. All the graphs, charts, numerical tables, reds, greens, etc that we’ve become so used to, would have taken weeks to produce (and draw by hand). And most bosses would have screwed them up, thrown them in the bin, and then told you to get out and feel some collars rather than draw pretty coloured pictures.

      Management by Objectives was the newest fad, which became ‘Policing by Objectives’. HQ set up a planning department, and each division had to have a plan, such as set up x number of neighbourhood watch schemes, run y number of crime operations, etc. The knack was to write a plan that you knew you were going to achieve, otherwise you got into trouble with HQ. Then the Audit Commission got involved, and started to compare recorded crime and detection levels between forces. In the days before NCRS, they noticed that some forces seemed to have much better “performance” than others, and therefore were clearly performing better. They looked at incidents, and decided it was inefficient not to have different response grades or not to measure how quickly the phone was answered. That all started under Major’s Conservative Government, but then really took off under Blair’s Labour Government. Although you can criticise ACPO for not standing up to this, but at the time, this was the new garlic bread. This was what good management was all about. Measures, targets, benchmarks. Performance focus. Deliverology. Forces were grouped into ‘achieving’, ‘coasting’, ‘striving’, and ‘failing’, based on the numbers they reported. New York developed Compstat, and we lapped up the blood-on-the-carpet numbers bit – but ignored the key elements around operational tactics that in reality made it work. Twelve years on, most staff have only ever experienced management by numbers. As Simon points out, most managers hear ‘no targets’ as ‘no management’. For there is no other way to manage. Look at the competencies – sets realistic targets, monitors performance against target, holds staff to account for performance, deals robustly with poor performers, etc. They’re all written by and for command and control thinkers.

      And so we came to see performance as only ever being something that could be counted. So if we stopped counting things, would people stop working? I think not. How would you assess a team’s performance? You’d have to concentrate on quality, feedback from customers, results achieved. Scary, eh!

  4. Kate Kelly says:

    An excellent discussion of a difficult issue

  5. Nick Bailey says:

    The sad reality is it is ‘scary’ to managers who manage from their desks, the managers the system has designed over the past decade who manage by reviewing incident lists, response times, crime figures and detection charts.
    And sadly this is the problem with ST that prevents what people enjoy reading, hearing and eulogising from becoming reality. Being a ST manager is harder work than being a manager in a target culture, a surprise to many who see the despatch of targets as the asylum given over to the inmates, a chance to relax, no pressure.
    The reality is that to be a manager in ST the reassurance comes from seeing how the work is done, assured that staff are doing the right thing. This is hard work, I know I have been trying for the past 12 months and only now are they starting to believe and understand me when I talk about learning about demand, understanding what works, gathering measures to show what works and what doesn’t. This is not achieved from the desk, from the front of classrooms and lecture halls it is achieved seeing what the staff do and pay attention to, and no surprise that is what they see is what their managers pay attention to.
    The analogy I use for the previous management culture is this. Imagine the manager of of a Premiership Club (not Sir Alex, I am MUFC) who Monday to Friday sits at their desk and sends emails to the players instructed them on what he (they all are) wants.
    Goalkeeper – you conceded 2 goals at the weekend, 1 above our agreed target (bonus reduction), please ensure that you make more saves. Bonus for saves made.
    Defence – tackles are important to being a good defender, please ensure you make more tackles. Bonus for number of tackles.
    Midfield – Games are won and lost in midfield, it is all about possession and assists. Bonus for time spent in possession and number of assists.
    Forwards – Goals, we need to score more, this is achieved by more shots on target. Bonus 2k for goal, 1k for shot on target.
    All – remember our fans want to be entertained and we want to provide them with value for money so please make your play more entertaining. In addition the more entertaining and fancy tricks, the more time we get on Sky and MOTD, so club revenues increase, so bigger bonuses.
    Come the day of the game, the manager has worked hard and everyone deserves a weekend off, so instead of being pitch side he sends the team to go out and do the business, after all he told them what he wanted, he was very clear and they have incentives.
    As he is a conscientious manager Sunday morning he gets up early and buys all the Sunday papers and goes immediately to the sports section. He assesses all the game reports, and stats…these papers are great now – the number of goals, the number of passes, the number of assists, scores out of ten for each player, man of the match (note to self must send him an email of thanks, maybe a commendation), the number of red/yellow cards (note to self must call them in to see me re words of advice), he has plenty of data to direct his resources on Monday morning.
    I will not go through all the connotations for the next week emails, but some possibilities on what happens might be a goalkeeper who insists letting the opposition take shots on goal, a defence who pass the ball between themselves and ‘pass’ to the opposition to make more tackles, a midfield who once they get the ball fail to pas sto the forwards to increase their possession and a forward who believe it is easier to make more shots on goal from distance, than try to score a goal.
    The reality for ST management is ‘watch the game’ and you can see that the midfielder is a donkey, your striker could not hit the side of a barn door and the 11 players do not work as a team. Some might say they do not achieve purpose – win the game. There is no one way to do this: Brazil – score more than the opposition (bit like MUFC this season), ‘1 nil to the Arsenal’ all of them work, because they achieve purpose.
    I had the good fortune to go around Bentley Motors last year and the manager who came from Toyota to introduce the Bentley Production System left me with many messages, but one stood out. When a manger presents an issue, reason for poor performance etc he asked a simple question – ‘have you touched the problem’. What he meant was have you been to the factory floor and seen it for yourself.
    ST management is hard work, it means no standing still, forever learning about demand, what works and as importantly what doesn’t, and then doing something about it to improve.
    The reality for policing is do we know what works, the evidence is sparce but growing. Peter Neyroud and others College of Policing, hope to achieve it and it is hard to explain to officers Neyrouds difference between a professional organisation and an organisation that acts professionally. (And before people tell me they do it, it is about getting ways of working systemic).
    Another analogy if we trained doctors to diagnose problems = train police officers to know the law and when broken. But would we then let doctors learn from experience and 10 weeks in company by which time they could deal with most minor ailments and injuries. Let them decide which medication to use based on what their tutor used, the longer in service they got they might have more experience, but they would use it to get themselves promotion rather than share it so other could learn.

    Believe me I could go on, because this is the sustainable future of public services, but the hard part is delivering it and managers cannot do it behind a desk.

  6. forlorn says:

    Whereas I agree with much of what InspGuilfoyle says I do not wholly agree with his assessments of Targets. The problem is not with the targets it is the behaviours that they seem to encourage that cause the problem. It’s a bit like saying a stretch of road is dangerous. The road itself is not dangerous it is the way that a small number of idiots drive on that stretch of road that is the problem. However a stretch of road can ‘encourage’ more idiotic behaviour than other stretches.

    When targets are used responsibly they can be a very powerful way of quickly idenitfying possible problem areas within a large number of measures (balanced scorecard methodology). The numbers behind the targets should only ever be known to the analysts not the operational managers. All the operational managers should be told is that a certain area may be having a significant influence on overall peformance, Analysts may be able to narrow that down to a geographic area or to other factors (e.g. increase in criminal damage is actually down to increased attempt burglaries rather than vandalism). The job of the managers is to then operate as system thinkers and in my view should asking the following questions.
    (i) Are we doing the activities we should be doing. This is sometimes as simple as reviewing policy and plans and seeing if people are doing them.
    (ii) If people are doing what they should be doing the next thing that should be asked is are there enough people doing what we want. If there aren’t then we have a resoursing issue.
    (iii) If there are enough people doing what they should be doing then it is probable that they are not being asked to do the right thing. It is now the job of the managers to either look at best practice or use professional judgement (experience) to decide on a suite of activities that will ‘ make things better than they otherwise would have been’. What should then happen is that people should be held accountable for the effective delivery of those activities NOT the outcomes.

    A significant number of senior managers (supt and above) do not ‘get’ performance management as described above.

    In our force we introduced a balanced scorecard system but managers didn’t get it and insisted on being told the ‘target’ numbers. This often lead to activities involving reviewing and reclassifying crimes that had already been reported sometimes upto six months before.

    I will repeat again targets are not the problem it is when they are misunderstood and used by idiots in an idiotic manner that is the problem.

    • ThinkPurpose says:

      I spot a troll.
      If not, ruddy Norah…

    • I know I’m late to the conversation, but I thought it would be worth adding to this point. I’m not a policeman but love the systems thinking being applied!

      I believe forlorn to be correct in the circumstances he is describing. I’ll give an example where the right target can make a real difference and then attempt to tie it back to policing:

      Recent studies have shown that many traffic jams can be slated back to “choke points” in particular suburbs. Therefore, rather than aiming for a 2% reduction in trips taken across a whole city, the correct target is a 20% reduction in traffic trips from that suburb, perhaps through more bus services. The important bit is that fixing that choke point has a disproportionate effect on throughput once the traffic jam goes away. A similar theory applies to on-ramp lights on freeways.

      Ideas like “broken window policing” are similar in proposing that above a certain frequency, low-grade criminal behavior becomes normalised and leads to spiralling crime rates. So there may be a legitimate need for targets to enforce social norms and thus create virtuous cycles, or eliminate vicious cycles. But the critical point is that any such targets aren’t *arbitrary*; they are selected precisely for the systemic impact that they can achieve.

      • Philip says:

        Stephen why is it 20%? How did you get this very round number? Why isn’t it 16.8% or 23.9%, the point is your target is arbitrary. As a systems person you start of with an objective to reduce traffic jams and you measure the frequency and cause of jams. Then by studying the flow and purpose of journeys you start to improve the system. Maybe due to the georgaphy of the area, school starting/finishing times as an example its very difficult to improve the system. Now if you have decided that a bonus will be achieved by hitting this 20% target the focus usually becomes, how can I achieve this? Can I reclassify what a jam is, and if so, voila you have achieved your target and nothing has changed. If you need examples the south staffs hospital scandal is full of people spending time working out how to improve the numbers rather than improve the hospital, and in this case people have died.

  7. Pingback: Just Practicing − The use and abuse of measurement

  8. Hi Philip,

    I understand the criticism, but stay with me. I’m presuming that the target is not arbitrary, but set in response to a deep understanding to the system. Sometimes it’s not sufficient to simply aim for “more” or “less” if the system goes through phase changes. To create ice, the temperature of a body of water must be below 0C / 32F. Anything more is just cold water.

    So perhaps my point would be better expressed as a ratio, rather than a percentage: no more than 2 car trips per 500 residents in the target suburb; no more than 15 property crimes per officer on the beat each month. This makes it clearer that the target is a property of the system rather than an arbitrary measurement without a deeper goal.

    Oh, one other thing – in this as in other cases, while segmented measurements may make sense, *never* evaluate individual performance on those measures. The ultimate performance of a system must be the responsibility of everyone, not individuals. Targeting staff at schools, hospitals, etc based on their individual organisation’s metrics is the quickest method to incentivise gaming of the system.

    • Stephen/Philip,
      Thanks for your comments. Stephen – you clearly understand the importance of adopting a whole system perspective, gaming, and the need to tackle issues such as bottlenecks that exist amongst the individual processes that are components of the system. Where I struggle (and I think Philip is coming from the same place) is with your viewpoint of “..presuming that the target is not arbitrary”. This is a common problem in my experience – people assume that it isn’t arbitrary, when it is, and then the problems begin.

      No matter how deep an understanding of the system you have, no matter what mathematics, algorithms, modelling or other techniques you undertake to set a numerical target, it will still be arbitrary. Moreover, a target does not change the capability of the system. What follows is the inevitable gaming / dysfunctional behaviour.

      Targets such as “ more than 15 property crimes per officer on the beat each month” are ill-conceived and guaranteed to make people do the wrong thing. Furthermore, this type of target is connected to a measure that is out of the control of the people being held to account. It can only go wrong from there…

      Therefore I argue that understanding how the system operates relies on using purpose-derived measures and interpreting that data to form an evidence base. A method can then be initiated that is designed to achieve what the system is there for. This is the key to good performance, rather than coming up with numbers off the top of one’s head and calling them targets.

      • Thanks Simon,

        Clear and to the point as always. I think we are on the same side, you’re just arguing your position better than me 🙂 As you acknowledge yourself, measurements are necessary in order to sense how a system is performing. The trick is then twofold:
        (1) how do you avoid turning any metric into an intrinsic goal, and
        (2) how do you explain the worth of an evidence-derived method in changing the equilibrium of a system, without turning everyone into a systems expert?

        The advantage of a numerical target is that is easy to communicate whether a systems process is working. A good example is the “target 2-3% inflation rate” set by the Reserve Bank of Australia – a simple number that communicates whether systems intervention is warranted. Likewise, you will need to redraw the average and boundaries of any control chart downwards at the point where you’re confident that the systems capabilities are positively responding to your interventions.

        On the other hand, the “cargo cult” mentality of setting a target and hoping that the system will change – yes, I agree that is pointless.

        Unfortunately, I think it boils down to the approach taken by managers. If your managers look at measures and say “this number is too big, make it smaller”, people will game the number since that’s ultimately what will make the manager happy.

        If the question is instead “do we need to something differently/better?” then the manager is (a) inviting people to participate in positive change and (b) recognising the number as a symptom of the whole system, not anything individual participants can be held responsible for.

  9. Pingback: Finding the source

  10. bob farey says:

    InspGuilfoyle – are you ever asked by other police forces for help with systems thinking – and – do you ever offer to help other police forces – if either answer is yes – what is the blocker?

  11. bob farey says:

    InspGuilfoyle – you are an Inspector with sergeants below you and all sorts of posh sounding ranks above you. I assume not many of these people are systems thinkers. So how do you manage to change approach, get rid of targets etc.

    • Bob – in answer to your first comment, ‘yes’ and ‘yes’, not sure what you mean by blockers..? In response to your second question, ‘just do it’ where you can, and try and influence others where you don’t have direct control.

      • bob farey says:

        Blockers = the people who resist change or the culture / policy that resists change. I worked for London Underground for 19 years, the last 10 years in business improvement – try as I might I never converted anybody – nobody prepared to try it – I told the CEO the monthly performance report was worthless (red or green against arbitrarily set targets) and when they introduced a balanced score card I gave up and kept my head down counting the days to retirement.

      • Gotcha – I just missed the context, sorry. the main general blockers seem to be fear and unwillingness to let go of the norms. Not insurmountable though, but it’s definitely not a quick fix.

      • bob farey says:

        A CEO with the right balance of courage, knowledge and faith would be ideal – but such people are few and far between. your chief constable clearly tolerates you but does he/she understand systems thinking concepts?

  12. I have no idea – the important thing is that senior management give space to those within organisations to practice systems methods – if those at the top don’t have a deep understanding of the theory it doesn’t necessarily have to become a blocker. It’s about trust and autonomy.

  13. Pingback: Spot The Difference | InspGuilfoyle | metodolog...

  14. Stephen says:

    You mention that “there are numerous papers and studies which demonstrate that these things [inter-departmental rivalries, cheating, gaming, data distortions, higher costs, lower morale, worse service delivery, etc.] always happen when targets are introduced into the mix.” Could you please cite some of these “numerous papers and studies” or key words by which I could search for them on the Web myself?

    • Here’s some to get you started…I’ve even put them in alphabetical order for you. Give me a shout when you’ve read these. Cheers.

      Barsky, A. (2008) Understanding the Ethical Cost of Organizational Goal-Setting: A Review and Theory Development. Journal of Business Ethics. 81: 63–81

      Berliner, J. S. (1956) ‘A Problem in Soviet Business Management’. Administrative Science Quarterly. 1: 86–101

      Bevan, G. and Hood, C. (2006) ‘What’s Measured is What Matters: Targets and Gaming in the English Public Healthcare System’ Public Administration 84 (3): 517-538

      Bevan, G. and Hamblin, R. (2009). ‘Hitting and Missing Targets by Ambulance Services for Emergency Calls: Effects of Different Systems of Performance Measurement within the UK’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (A). 172 (1): 161 – 190

      Bird, S. M., Cox, D., Farewell, V. T., Goldstein, H., Holt, T. and Smith, P. C. (2005) ‘Performance Indicators: Good, Bad and Ugly’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (A). 168 (1): 1-27

      Broadhurst, K., Wastell, D., White, S., Hall, C, Peckover, S., Thompson, K., Pithouse, A. and Davey, D. (2010) ‘Performing ‘Initial Assessment’: Identifying the Latent Conditions for Error at the Front-Door of Local Authority Children’s Services’. British Journal of Social Work. 40 (2): 352-370

      Castellano, J. F., Young, S. and Roehm, H. A. (2004) ‘The Seven Fatal Flaws of Performance Management’. CPA Journal. 74 (6): 32-35

      Collier, P.M. (2006) ‘In Search of Purpose and Priorities: Police Performance Indicators in England and Wales’. Public Money & Management. 26 (3): 165-172

      Deming, W. E. (1986) Out of the Crisis. Cambridge: MIT Press

      Deming, W. E. (1994) The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education. (2nd Ed) Cambridge: MIT Press

      Eterno, J. A, and Silverman, E. B. (2012) The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press

      Ghobadian, A., Viney, H. and Redwood, J. (2009) ‘Explaining the Unintended Consequences of Public Sector Reform’. Management Decision. 47 (10): 1514-1535

      Guilfoyle, S. J. (2012) ‘On Target? Public Sector Performance Management: Recurrent Themes, Consequences and Questions’. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. 6 (3): 250 – 260

      Guilfoyle, S. J. (2013) Intelligent Policing: How Systems Thinking Methods Eclipse Conventional Management Practice. Axminster: Triarchy Press

      Hammer, M. (2007) ‘The 7 Deadly Sins of Performance Measurement (And How to Avoid Them)’. MIT Sloan Management Review. Spring 2007: 19 – 28

      Hood, C. (2006) ‘Gaming in Targetworld: The Targets Approach to Managing British Public Services’. Public Administration Review. 66 (4): 515-521

      Hood, C. (2007) ‘Public Service Management by Numbers: Why Does it Vary? Where Has it Come From? What are the Gaps and the Puzzles?’ Public Money & Management. 27 (2): 95-102

      Jackson, A. (2005) ‘Falling From a Great Height: Principles of Good Practice in Performance Measurement and the Perils of Top Down Determination of Performance Indicators’. Local Government Studies. 31 (1): 21 – 38

      Jackson, P. M. (2011) ‘Governance by Numbers: What Have We Learned Over The Past 30 Years?’ Public Money and Management. 31 (1): 13-26

      Kelman, S. and Friedman, J. N. (2009) ‘Performance Improvement and Performance Dysfunction: An Empirical Examination of Distortionary Impacts of the Emergency Room Wait-Time Target in the English National Health Service’. Journal of Public Administration and Theory. 19: 917 – 946

      Longman, H. (2013) A&E Has a Mountain to Climb – But Which One? [Online]

      Loveday, B. (2006) ‘Policing Performance: The Impact of Performance Measures and Targets on Police Forces in England and Wales’. International Journal of Police Science and Management. 8 (4): 282–293

      Loveday, B. (2008) ‘Performance Management and the Decline of Leadership within Public Services in the United Kingdom’. Policing. 2 (1): 120–130

      Ordonez, L., Schweitzer, M., Galinsky, A. and Bazerman, M. (2009) ‘Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Overprescribing Goal Setting’. Academy of Management Perspectives. 23 (1): 6-16

      Patrick, R. (2009) Performance Management, Gaming and Police Practice. (PhD Thesis). Birmingham: University of Birmingham

      Pidd, M. (2005) ‘Perversity in Public Service Performance Measurement’. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. 54 (5/6): 482-493

      Ridgway, V. F. (1956) ‘Dysfunctional Consequences of Performance Measurements’. Administrative Science Quarterly 1 (2): 240-247

      Rothstein, R. (2008) ‘Holding Accountability to Account’. National Center on Performance Incentives. Working Paper 2008 – 04. Nashville: Vanderbilt

      Seddon, J. (2008) Systems Thinking in the Public Sector. Axminster: Triarchy Press

      Shorrock, S. and Licu, T. (2013) ‘Target Culture: Lessons in Unintended Consequences’. Hindsight. No 17, Summer 2013: 10 – 16

      Smith, P. (1995) ‘On the Unintended Consequences of Publishing Performance Data in the Public Sector’. International Journal of Public Administration. 18 (2 & 3): 277–310

  15. Pingback: Three Different Things | InspGuilfoyle

  16. Pingback: Falling into that trap! | Squire to the Giants

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s