Baby steps

Peer review is the final stage of the Pizazz and the PIE Abacus process -  the culmination; and peer review from a group of trusted but external colleagues is the mark of the 'gold standard' assessment.

Which is to say that for many, this is probably unattainable.

Both the Pizazz on paper and the PIE Abacus have set out to be as useful as possible for as many services as possible, and at any stage in the development and progress as PIEs ( see: 'FAQs: Ambition and modesty').

So the encouragement to use peer review should be seen in this light.   You do what is useful to you. You do what you are ready for. You do what you can.

For many services, even finding the time to complete the first stages of the assessment is demanding; moving on to the diagnosis of the 'helping and hindering ' factors may seem more obviously useful; and the forward planning stage may then seem more constructive. But going outside the team to ask others' opinions of your work can seem quite threatening.

In the page here (HERE) on 'the coffee break Pizazz', we have tried to suggest how even a very informal conversation can cover a lot of the ground for an assessment, including the action planning and peer review.

But for those ready to go a step further, a useful (and still non- intimidating) beginning might be to invite a single colleague from another comparable team in your own agency. If in turn you offer to do the same for them, that's a peer review.

It doesn't even need to be someone in the same agency. Although we appreciate you might not want to invite the views of a colleague in a local agency that might conceivably be a competitor - and certainly not a funder - there will be someone somewhere that you feel is broadly sympathetic and supportive.

That's not a bad place to start.

As you gain confidence, you may well find that the opportunity to talk over successes and constraints begins to seem valuable.



Further background reading/listening/viewing

PIElink pages

Partially PIE'd? : HERE

The coffee break Pizazz : HERE

Ambition and modesty (PIE Abacus FAQ)  : HERE


Library items

NB: All Pizazz documentation is found in the PIElink members' Library. To access this and any other content in the Library, it is necessary to register as a member.

The basic Pizazz assessment summary sheets are  HERE

The Pizazz Handbook, 'Useful questions',  is HERE

Pizazz assessment levels guidance is HERE

Advice for Pizazz assessment facilitators is HERE

Creative Commons licence terms are HERE


The Pizazz now also come in two formats - the 'pen and paper' format, and the electronic/on-line format, known as the PIE Abacus.

The 'pen and paper' format is suitable for simpler and smaller services, where getting round a table to meet and discuss face-to-face is an option.

The electronic/on-line format ( the "PIE Abacus') is geared for more complex and/or larger services, organisations and networks, where face-to-face meeting is impractical.

For the PIE Abacus, see: The PIE Abacus - an online Pizazz 


NB: The PIE Abacus now comes in two forms - the short and the long form (a language borrowed from Tai Chi).

The short form is particularly recommended for services that are up-to-speed with the PIEs approach, but have very limited time; or are still only at the outset of their journey of development as PIEs.

The long form allows services to drill down in finer detail into their assessment and process. It is more useful for those services that have come some way already, and wish to go further.

See: Which form of the Pizazz is right for our service?


For a note on current and future costs of using the Pizazz, see: Pizazz costs