The PIE Abacus in local networks

Service eco-systems and needs audit in local services networks

Senior managers, service planners and commissioners in a locality will wish to get an overview of local provision, of needs and gaps, of what is working and what is hindering. They can now use the PIE Abacus, as a 'whole systems' assessment and consultation tool, by creating their own Abacus, and inviting all the relevant services in their locality to in-put their data here, using their own Abacus as a central information hub.

It is hoped that this use of the PIE iAbacus as a locality-based needs audit tool may help to identify and address significant gaps in provision, barriers, awkward referral thresholds or procedures.  If so, this shared overview of the 'spaces of opportunity' can then be 'informed' with participants' own ideas and proposals for improving these pathways - that is, in what they themselves could do, and in what they would need from others.

This more ‘systemic’ use of the PIE Abacus, based on the experience of providing services, may also appeal to those arguing not just for greater efficiency but for system change.


The greater breadth of the PIEs 2.0 framework, which the PIE Abacus uses (like the Pizazz on paper), allows for consistent and directly comparable overall information from a wider range of services or groups invited to participate. But it is also quite possible, with the PIE Abacus, to customise the PIE Abacus at local level with the addition of purely local issues.

(For more on this possibility, see Customising with the PIE AbacusHERE)


It is also possible to have a fully independent parallel account of any service, produced by one or more service user groups. The ‘scribe’ feature here means that service users do not even need to be computer literate (or literate at all) to be able to have their views heard.

(For more on this, see Service user-led assessments: HERE)

NB: For this to be most effective, however, we may need to develop a more 'user-friendly', less technical vocabulary. There is preliminary working beginning on this currently; but we are unlike to begin in earnest until 2021.

(For an outline of this and other new areas, see PIEs, 1, 2 - & 3?:  HERE)

The simplest, most effective way to evaluate and improve your PIE from Daniel O'Brien on Vimeo.

For applications in particular settings, see:

 The PIE Abacus – in medium to large agencies, HERE.

The PIE Abacus – in local practice networks, HERE.

The PIE Abacus – in small and local services, HERE.

The PIE Abacus – in research and communities of practice, HERE.

The PIE Abacus – in service user-led assessments, HERE.

The PIE Abacus – with services using PIEs1, HERE.