PIE assessment: what is the point?

Please note: this section and its summary page are new; and much of the material included is also either entirely new, incomplete, or under-going substantial re-writing. Many of the links also will not work - or may be misleading.


You don't fatten a pig by weighing it.

So the saying goes. What, then is, the point of assessing a services as a PIE?

In this section of this site, we explore a range of issues in assessment and evaluation of complex needs services, as that is the central focus of this site.

In "On evaluation per se' we look in turn at a range of more theoretical issues in the styles of evaluation, and their relevance - if any - to the assessment of PIEs. This area is probably mainly of interest to researchers looking for an appropriate methodology for evaluation.

It does, however, offer some cautions for others, such as policy makers and funders, who might be seen as the 'end users' of evaluation methods, and who want the services they fund to be 'evidence-based'.


In 'The Pizazz', we illustrate an alternative approach, developed especially for services that wish to develop using the PIEs framework; and these are then described using 'the Pizazz on paper' - the version of this process that was published in 2018.

We have some very positive feedback on how useful it has been, though this is still largely anecdotal. This is partly a reflection of the fact that there is no central organisation to collect and collate feedback more consistently.

But it is primarily a reflection of the nature of the Pizazz process and philosophy itself, which aims to radically decentralise the process of assessment, to make it fully integrated into services self development planning.


In 'The PIE Abacus', we introduce the software version of the Pizazz, which goes on general release only in the Spring of 2021 (after some three years of development and piloting).

The PIE Abacus aims to preserve the decentralised nature of the 'Pizazz on paper' assessments, and the full integration into service planning. But the PIE Abacus, as software, then also lends itself to sharing and pooling or assessment, forming a bigger picture.

Meanwhile, the business model underlying the PIE Abacus aims to bring about an active shared, community of practice approach to developing the PIE approach, in future.

Further reading/viewing

On evaluation per se

  • Service evaluation by outcomes: HERE
  • Evaluations of specific interventions: HERE
  • Whole systems evaluation: HERE
  • Formative vs summative evaluation: HERE
  • Outcome and process assessments: HERE

The Pizazz

  • The Pizazz approach to assessment: HERE
  • The coffee break Pizazz: HERE
  • The Pizazz assessment summary sheets: HERE
  • 'Useful questions' (the Pizazz Handbook): HERE
  • How come it's free?: HERE
  • Using PIEs 1 with Pizazz: HERE
  • The Pizazz as a research tool: HERE

The PIE Abacus

NB: The links to the PIE Abacus development are still being finalised, in time for the newsletter announcement in January 2021; and the general release' of the PIE Abacus software, in March 2021. The material here currently is only broadly indicative of these developments; and may be up-dated. It should be interesting; but for the moment it should be treated with some caution.

  • The PIE Abacus  - an on-line version of the Pizazz (summary ): HERE
  • The PIE Abacus - FAQs : HERE
  • PIE Abacus use and terms of use : HERE
  • Costs as income: HERE
  • PIE Abacus - balancing cost factors: HERE