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Are you in any doubt about the perverse outcomes targets can cause?

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 30 July 2015



Are you in any doubt about the perverse outcomes targets can cause?
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 181
Posted DateThursday 30 July 2015 08:18 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I have never been a big fan of key performance indicators (KPIs) for a variety of reasons including they are too easily gamed, they often have unforeseen negative consequences and they can too easily become explicit targets in their own right removing the need for people to think and do the right thing in an increasingly complex world.

So I was delighted to see this news-item recently. Maybe the UK Government is at last waking up to the "perverse outcomes targets can cause" as the Home Secretary Theresa May puts it. Though frankly I doubt it.

I can't help being impressed but at the same time sceptical (for the reasons above) by the ambitious key national performance indicators for the UAE.

What would be really interesting to know, is why these particular indicators were set and not others and how the values attached to them were determined. The strategy adopted to meet them would also be of interest.

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