Obsessive Measurement Infinity Loops (OMI Loops)

The Raspberry Jam Test. The recent post about The Duke of Wellington and failure to account for jars of raspberry jam, in a sandstorm (link here), seems to have struck a few chords. That’s given me a bit of confidence to open up about what I think is a terrible modern day curse, Measurement Obsession. […]

Failure to Account for Jars of Raspberry Jam (in a Sandstorm)

Clerks and Copy-Boys or Winning the War? You can’t have both. A friend recently sent me a copy of a letter from the Duke to Wellington, August 1812, to the British Foreign Office, London. Just to put the letter in context. At the time, Wellington was on the way to Madrid, ‘dragging an army over […]

The Ministry of the Predictable. Eliminating Uncertainty, Risk, and Resilience.

For every complex human problem, there is an answer that is simple, obvious and WRONG!* But it is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Ministry of the Predictable (MOP). The MOP work by; developing universal policies, providing conditional funding, linking funding to milestones in a project plan/programme and measuring your progress against the targets […]

Far, Far Away Land Syndrome

Life in Far, Far Away Land is so much better than here… I’ve been watching a lot of Shrek recently. I’ve also been attending seminars and learning about good practice through the medium of beautifully presented case studies. For anyone not familiar with Shrek, it’s your classic fairy tale. Everything we need in a good […]

What is the opposite of a Mystery Shopper?

Do public complaints make a difference? I’m always intrigued when people take to Twitter or other social media platforms to complain about a product or service. Firstly I’m wondering, does this actually make a difference? Do things improve? Secondly, if that person is a ‘Big-Wig’ in an organisation, I’m led to thinking… ‘I wonder if […]

Asshole friends. Why are they necessary?

We need ‘difficult’ friends. I think everyone needs a ‘difficult’ person in their life. That awkward git that won’t shut up and tells you exactly why your brilliant idea is doomed to failure. They aren’t afraid of offending or hurting your feelings, publicly embarrassing you, treading on your toes and causing a ‘stink’. Just what’s […]

I do not like that person. I must get to know them better.

Hold on to your undergarments. I’m going to explain an Abraham Lincoln quote through the lens of Mean Girls. Yes, you did read that right. Mean Girls, the 2004 American teenage comedy film. At last, I understand Mean Girls. Last night I was watching Mean Girls (with my wife, who provided running commentary) and it […]

Scaffolding: Temporary, Lightweight and a Utilitarian Metaphor.

I’m a bit of a sucker for metaphors. Which one of these descriptions works best for you? Option A. “To make this project something that will be a success for many years we need to put up the right sort of ‘scaffold’ to help it develop…” Option B. “To ensure the successful delivery of the […]