And this is just one of many such targets. You will find another good example here: A&Es 15-minute ambulance target .
Well Dave has recently starteed to document some of these mistakes. Here are his seven errors of governemnt - each one is explained more fully in his blog post.
- You get what you measure, so if you set a target humans will achieve the target at all costs, ignoring context or the unstated goals that the outcome based target was attempting to achieve.
- Outcome based measurement can make people far too comfortable. It's all to easy to achieve an explicit target, especially if you can turn off an empathy (or at least suppress it).
- A mechanical approach is by its nature dehumanising in its effect on people and inhuman in its impact on society.
- You waste an awful amount of resource just managing the measurement system.
- We try and solve issues with idealistic fail-safe designs rather than allowing systems to evolve.
- Re-organisation is a disease and an excuse. It's the knee jerk reaction to any failure that ends up breaking your jaw with the recoil.
- Communication is all up and down the chain, ironically this mediates information to senior decision makers so they are immunised from the real data they need, and also from the consequences of their actions.