A chainsaw, not the recommended Tree Diagram tools

Tree Diagram Tools: Tips and App Reviews

By Bernie | April 12, 2016

Visio Microsoft Office – Microsoft Word or Powerpoint Excel Mac/OSX Tree Diagram Tools OmniGraffle iPad/iPhone/IOS Mindmaps Verdict So you are probably looking for a ‘verdict’ here. As a consultant, it’s pencil, paper and posits that are the first weapon of choice when building a KPI tree with a group. When it comes to ‘write up’…

Accurate KPIs and a bowlful of M and Ms have more in common than you might think

Accurate KPIs, Van Halen and brown sweets.

By Bernie | April 1, 2016

How do you know if you are looking at accurate KPIs, reports or dashboards? Perhaps we can learn a lesson from rock legends Van Halen. A copy of their 1982 tour rider makes for interesting reading. It’s 53 pages long and contains some very specific requirements, including: Two dozen English muffins Six bars of soap Six…

Tin of spam. Holds the key to report engagement

Report Engagement, 10 essential lessons from spam email

By Bernie | March 25, 2016

I hate spam, so I am reading a book on marketing emails (Email Marketing Rules: A Step by Step Guide to the Best Practices that Power Marketing Success by Chad White) to figure out how to create engaging emails that people actually want to read and open. Reading the list I realised these rules hold…

calculus made easy - explaining complex things simply

Explaining complex things simply: Wise words from Silvanus P Thompson

By Bernie | January 14, 2015

A good friend of mine showed me his treasured copy of ‘Calculus Made Easy’ by Silvanus P Thompson, first published in 1910. Here’s the front cover…   First published in 1910, here are some wise words on explaining complex things simply from Silvanus… CONSIDERING how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it should…

Contradictory KPIs. When KPIs should agree, but don’t

By Bernie | January 7, 2015

Contradictory KPIs are a common problem and can rapidly undermine management confidence in the KPI system. Even someone who knows nothing about measurement knows that if you look at, say, a figure for widget production in July 2007, then you would expect any other figures for widget production in July 2007 to be the same,…

Dealing with KPI Problems – Stranded Data

By Bernie | December 15, 2014

There are lots of practical data problems you are likely to come across when implementing KPIs and measures. I’ve identified five of the most common ones. The first of this series is  ‘Stranded data’ or data living in small pools throughout your organisation. This issue is fairly simple to spot but probably the toughest of…

Getting KPI Buy-In

By Bernie | December 10, 2014

Using the phrase `KPI buy-in’ is probably putting it a bit strongly. For many KPI implementations the best you’re looking for initially is the absence of resistance and compliance in terms of gathering information. Proper buy-in normally only comes after people start to see real value coming from the data. There are a few situations,…

cheat sheet OEE KPI

KPI Cheat Sheet – Making KPIs and Measures Easy to Understand

By Bernie | November 28, 2014

Most KPIs are really badly documented, if they are documented at all No matter which industry, I find three things are consistently true of KPIs KPIs and measures are not fully understood by all of those using them KPIs and measures are poorly documented The documentation that does exist is almost unreadable Performance measurement and…

Four out of five score on blackboard

Assessing Report Design Objectively – Avoiding Fights

By Bernie | October 28, 2014

There are three situations where it can be a good idea to have a structured review of your reports and dashboards… If some of your team are in denial about the need to change existing reports You want some clear ideas on what needs to be included in improved dashboards or reports You have an…

Prototyping Dashboards – The Five Steps to Success

By Bernie | September 30, 2014

Why prototype? It is quite rare to find a client (internal or external) who knows precisely what they want from a dashboard or report. If you catch them with no preparation they will normally reach for an existing report and tell you which bits they want changing and moving. Sometimes this ends with them sighing…