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Julian jenkins from data measures

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A powerpoint presentation from the DD4D conference in Paris in June 2009, arguing for a rhetorical approach to information design and organisational decision-making, as opposed to an analytical approach. The material from this talk was later published as an article in the Information Design journal which is also available on Slideshare.

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Julian jenkins from data measures

  1. 1. From Data and Measures to Meaningful Decisions Designing Useful Information for Senior Management & Boards Dr Julian Jenkins 2nd Road Sydney, Australia
  2. 2. Commercial in Confidence 20091 A story about user experience 400 sides of text 66 separate documents 2hour meeting 9hours of reading Sense of clarity 40-60%
  3. 3. Commercial in Confidence 20092 A story about user experience 400 sides of text 66 separate documents 2hour meeting 9hours of reading Sense of clarity 40-60% Oct 2008
  4. 4. Commercial in Confidence 2009 The growing scope of corporate information Corporate social responsibility Balanced scorecards Triple bottom line Financial statements Growing range of topics Multiple locations Growing scale of operations Multiple industries Multiple geographies, cultures 3 Internal compliance processes Growing scope of regulation External reporting Global financial crisis
  5. 5. Commercial in Confidence 20094 Management by analysis “From 1817 onwards … a generation in the USA learned how to learn in a historically new way.” Sylvanus Thayer West Point military academy 1817-1833 • Relentless numerical measurement of performance • Written reports as basis for management • Focus on planning and logistics
  6. 6. Commercial in Confidence 20095 The dominant knowledge paradigm The analytical method is really good at solving a certain category of problems ... ... with stable, measurable parameters ... with linear processes of cause and effect ... with predictable outcomes and repeatable, “correct” solutions
  7. 7. Commercial in Confidence 20096 From a 19C to a 21C business context Machine Web Hierarchical power Interpersonal influence Efficiency of production Quality of experience Manufacturing Knowledge and services
  8. 8. Commercial in Confidence 20097 Two types of problem in the world be other than they are“ ” Things cannot be other than they are“ ” Things can  Physical world situations with fixed, quantifiable parameters situations with multiple qualitative options  Human environments Aristotle
  9. 9. Commercial in Confidence 20098 Two types of problem in the world Horst Rittel Tame Problems • clearly definable problems • “correct” answers • repeatable solutions Mystery  Algorithm
  10. 10. Commercial in Confidence 2009 Two types of problem in the world Wicked Problems • multiple, interconnected problems • no “right” answers • unrepeatable solutions Irreducible fluidity 9 Horst Rittel
  11. 11. Commercial in Confidence 200910 Two types of problem in the world
  12. 12. Commercial in Confidence 200911 Two types of thinking toolkits Scientific Analysis Rhetoric • Objective data • Empirical measurement and observation • Rational deduction • Reduction to parts • Subjective experience • Qualitative judgments • Argument and persuasion • Cohering into a whole
  13. 13. Commercial in Confidence 200912 “Analytical” decision-making Senior Managers & Boards Data Measures Collated Information Rational Decisions • Automated reports • Dashboards • Data warehouses • KPIs • Data integrity • Alignment of measures A data-driven, IT-heavy process
  14. 14. Commercial in Confidence 200913 “Rhetorical” decision-making A user-centred, meaning-making process Senior Managers & Boards  
  15. 15. Commercial in Confidence 200914 A user-centred, meaning-making process Conceptual Framework A high level mental map or gestalt
  16. 16. Commercial in Confidence 200915 A user-centred, meaning-making process Strategic Knowledge Conceptual Framework Focused answers to the right level of questions
  17. 17. Commercial in Confidence 200916 A user-centred, meaning-making process Turning operational data into useful strategic insights “Alchemists of knowledge” Data Measures Collated Information Middle Managers Strategic insights Clear arguments Senior Managers & Boards
  18. 18. Commercial in Confidence 200917 A user-centred, meaning-making process Strategic Knowledge Judgement Conceptual Framework • Vision and values • Experience • Empathy
  19. 19. Commercial in Confidence 200918 A user-centred, meaning-making process Strategic Knowledge Judgement Conceptual Framework • Cognitive processes • Social processes Processes
  20. 20. Commercial in Confidence 200919 A user-centred, meaning-making process Strategic Knowledge Judgement Conceptual Framework Processes Good Decisions Shared Meaning Coherent Story Focused Action
  21. 21. Commercial in Confidence 200920 Unlocking the power of information design Senior Managers & Boards Data Measures Collated Information Decisions Content ‘The visual display of quantitative information’
  22. 22. Commercial in Confidence 200921 1. Creating clear conceptual frameworks Planning Program Design & Alignment Strategic Conversation (AcdB Conversation) Planning Conversations (12 Month Program of Work) Portfolio Conversations (Budget, Performance Targets) Strategic Review (Annually) Program Reports (3-6 Monthly Review) Performance Reports (1-2 monthly) Reporting Reflection & Evaluation Setting Direction Organising Action Doing Business planning and reporting cycle
  23. 23. Commercial in Confidence 200922 2. Lifting the level of strategic knowledge Is Product XYZ Operating Effectively? Level 1 Report SUMMARY OF KEY ISSUES Appropriate revenue? Green Amber Red Cost to operate? 1 Community confidence in the system? 1 3 Are the right players in the system? 3 Clients understand their obligations? 2 Clients meet their obligations? 3 1 Risks identified and acted upon? 1 Internal capability? 2 Effective Design? 2 Sustainable Design? 1 OUTCOMES? OPERATING FEATURES? ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGN FEATURES? Data Confidence Rating (1 = Good) Role of intermediaries? • Revenue falling since 1999, but signs it may be levelling out • Most significant decline in Micro segment (44%) • High level of debt ($1bn) compared with total revenue ($3.46bn) • ATO cost is high, because XYZ requires full product support for a relatively small revenue return • Significant concern in community regarding cost, because of technical nature of XYZ, & administrative burden of compliance • Generally good feedback from community • Systems deficiencies pose threat to confidence. These may be highlighted by the forthcoming introduction of the portal. • No systemic method for determining appropriate participation • 35% decline in Micro registrations since 1999; however low levels of revenue involved • Good understanding of basic lodgement and payment obligations • Inherent complexity presents challenges for understanding at lower end of market • High level of compliance amongst Large, government & NFP clients; some concerns at Micro end of market • Good risk processes in place • Resources not always available to respond to specific risks • Low revenue base has resulted in low investment • Significant risks in terms of systems deficiencies and compliance staff skilling • Tax agents play important role because of inherent complexity • Good relationships established with professional groups • Fragmented nature of administration dilutes efficiency and inhibits improvement • Systems deficiencies make some tasks unnecessarily labour intensive and reduce administrative efficiency • XYZ administrative system is old and was designed for a different taxation environment • Processing systems are outdated, not easily adaptable, and are unlikely to be sustainable into the future • Falling revenue, though probably because of people moving out of the XYZ regime • Relatively costly and complex for ATO and community to administer • Systems deficiencies pose some significant risks to administrability, reputation • Relatively low skills base for XYZ across ATO – expertise vested in small number of staff Is Product XYZ Operating Effectively? Level 1 Report SUMMARY OF KEY ISSUES Appropriate revenue? Green Amber Red Cost to operate? 1 Community confidence in the system? 1 3 Are the right players in the system? 3 Clients understand their obligations? 2 Clients meet their obligations? 3 1 Risks identified and acted upon? 1 Internal capability? 2 Effective Design? 2 Sustainable Design? 1 OUTCOMES? OPERATING FEATURES? ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGN FEATURES? Data Confidence Rating (1 = Good) Role of intermediaries? • Revenue falling since 1999, but signs it may be levelling out • Most significant decline in Micro segment (44%) • High level of debt ($1bn) compared with total revenue ($3.46bn) • ATO cost is high, because XYZ requires full product support for a relatively small revenue return • Significant concern in community regarding cost, because of technical nature of XYZ, & administrative burden of compliance • Generally good feedback from community • Systems deficiencies pose threat to confidence. These may be highlighted by the forthcoming introduction of the portal. • No systemic method for determining appropriate participation • 35% decline in Micro registrations since 1999; however low levels of revenue involved • Good understanding of basic lodgement and payment obligations • Inherent complexity presents challenges for understanding at lower end of market • High level of compliance amongst Large, government & NFP clients; some concerns at Micro end of market • Good risk processes in place • Resources not always available to respond to specific risks • Low revenue base has resulted in low investment • Significant risks in terms of systems deficiencies and compliance staff skilling • Tax agents play important role because of inherent complexity • Good relationships established with professional groups • Fragmented nature of administration dilutes efficiency and inhibits improvement • Systems deficiencies make some tasks unnecessarily labour intensive and reduce administrative efficiency • XYZ administrative system is old and was designed for a different taxation environment • Processing systems are outdated, not easily adaptable, and are unlikely to be sustainable into the future • Falling revenue, though probably because of people moving out of the XYZ regime • Relatively costly and complex for ATO and community to administer • Systems deficiencies pose some significant risks to administrability, reputation • Relatively low skills base for XYZ across ATO – expertise vested in small number of staff
  24. 24. Commercial in Confidence 200923 3. Building human empathy
  25. 25. Commercial in Confidence 200924 4. Designing the social process
  26. 26. Commercial in Confidence 200925 5. Communicating strategy coherently
  27. 27. Commercial in Confidence 200926 5. Communicating strategy coherently
  28. 28. Commercial in Confidence 200927 6. Creating a meaningful story
  29. 29. Commercial in Confidence 200928 Unleashing the power of information design Wicked problems Strategic Knowledge Judgement Conceptual Framework Processes Good Decisions Shared Meaning Coherent Story Focused Action Meaning-shapersInformation designers
  30. 30. Commercial in Confidence 200929 Reference material Tony Golsby-Smith “Pursuing the Art of Strategic Conversation: An Investigation into the Role of the Liberal Arts of Rhetoric and Poetry in the Business World”, (PhD dissertation, University of Western Sydney, 2001). Keith Hoskin, Richard Macve & John Stone “Accounting and strategy: towards understanding the historical genesis of modern business and military strategy, in Bhimani, A. (ed), Contemporary Issues in Management Accounting, (OUP, 2006). Julian Jenkins “Information Design for Strategic Thinking: Health of the System Reports”, Design Issues, 24:1 (2008), pp. 68-77. Horst Rittel & M. Webber “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning”, Policy Sciences 4 (1973), pp. 155-169.

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