Bernie SmithBernie Smith is an experienced improvement professional and self-confessed measurement and KPI geek. He's worked all round the world in a variety of industry sectors. At the moment he's primarily focussed on Banking and Complaints. If you are interested in the services he can offer give him a call on 07973 631102 or contact him here.

Are you making these five classic dashboard design mistakes?

By Bernie | September 19, 2018

Mistake 1: Using pie charts (or their trendy cousin) Pie charts get used a lot more than they should. The main reasons for this seem to be… They are easy to understand (good reason) You can make 2 data points look impressive and take up a lot of dashboard space (bad reason) They look a…

How to avoid this common Excel disaster…

By Bernie | September 11, 2018

On 4 January 2010, in the Marriott hotel in Atlanta, two giants in the world of economics, Prof Carmen Reinhart and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Ken Rogoff, were presenting their research paper, ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’. Their message from their research turned the heads of global leaders and pushed…

Did an Excel mistake cripple the world economy?

By Bernie | September 6, 2018

On 4 January 2010, in the Marriott hotel in Atlanta, two giants in the world of economics, Prof Carmen Reinhart and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Ken Rogoff, were presenting their research paper, ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’. The headline message was clear and head-turning… When the size of the country’s…

The worst Excel user ever?

By Bernie | September 4, 2018

At the start of my career, I worked with someone who used to moan ALL the time about how terrible Excel was. After weeks of complaints, I decided to see if I could help, just to stop the complaining. I sat down next to him and quickly discovered he was using the ‘shapes and lines’…

Interviewing KPI Stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts

By Bernie | August 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

It is usually best to have a mixture of semi-structured interviews and stakeholder workshops. A semi-structured interview is one where you ask open questions and then listen carefully to the answers. When I conduct an interview I include: Introductions About you (the interviewer), who you are and why you are here. What your objectives are,…

Running KPI Stakeholder Workshops

By Bernie | August 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

KPI Stakeholder workshops are particularly useful when you are interested in gathering problem-related information or need to understand processes. Workshops are less suited to exploring more sensitive topics. Most of the steps are the same as for a semi-structured interview, although it is wise to dwell a bit less on the background of the participants…

Identifying KPI Stakeholders using RACI

By Bernie | August 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Knowing who you need to talk to, gain agreement with or keep updated is central to implementing successful measures. Many management information projects fail because of political or communications problems. This makes it especially important that you clearly identify, document and manage your stakeholders. The first step is to identify who your stakeholders are. Stakeholders…

Free tool: RACI Template

By Bernie | August 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Simple to use Excel RACI Template On most projects I end up putting together this RACI action tracking template. It’s a minor job, but a bit fiddly. I had a look on Google recently and couldn’t find a simple tracker template that worked well, so I designed one. It’s a little off-theme for this site,…

Engaging KPI Stakeholders – Communications

By Bernie | August 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

The challenge of managing change and complexity Because organisations are complex structures and the people within them are often anxious and busy, the ‘Engagement’ step is one of the easiest steps to mess up. Just working out who to talk to can be a serious challenge. Here are some key things you need to tackle…

What is the difference between a strategic objective and a mission statement?

By Bernie | August 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

There is a bit of a blurry line between mission statements and strategic objectives. Often clues to the strategic objectives are contained within a mission statement. Here are some notable vision/mission statements from history. Example: A grim mission statement General Motors: ‘GM is a multinational corporation engaged in socially responsible operations, worldwide. It is dedicated…