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Problems with Measures driving the wrong behaviours?

August 8, 2018

 

Traditional Behavioural Analysis looks at the consequences around a single behaviour.  But the behaviour of teams doesn’t occur in isolation.  In these situations the analysis becomes quite complex.  Various issues come to the foreground and compete for our attention.   These send us off in the wrong direction.

 

We have developed an approach to diagnose of behaviours on large scale scenarios.  We are able to pinpoint the root of these behavioural cascades.  (eg. A KPI or direction from senior management that triggers the cascade.)

 

By addressing the behavioural pinpoint, we can fix large scale problems.

 

Railway Case Study - It began with a single metric. A £1.5bn railway project used the number of foundation designs as the unit of measure and payment for the engineering contractor.  The contractor optimised their cash flow and designed as many foundations as possible, tackling the easiest first.  This behaviour met all the targets and released the performance bonus.  

 

The downstream effect on the construction contractor was negative.  The foundation designs weren’t delivered in a sequence that suited an efficient build plan.  The spiralling costs and delays required more management and reporting.  The project team’s focus switched to increasing the amount of access and expanding the planning. Following our Behavioural Mapping approach we identified these as secondary issues which were masking the root cause.

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