Whole systems as PIEs

Please note; we are in the midst of a thorough re-construction of these pages. For the moment, there may be some duplication of material from elsewhere; and probably some broken links. Bear with us. Its a lot to cover......

Local systems as PIEs and 'a PIE of pathways'

Individual services developing as PIEs can attend to their own procedures, in the routes in, through, and out of their own services. But individual services are often limited by the scope and terms of their funding; or equally by the willingness of others to co-operate, to improve these two-way channels.

We see now more clearly the need for the planning of services to manage the overall 'eco-system of services'; to tackle gaps and barriers (HERE); and to create 'a PIE of pathways' (HERE)  The current model for PIEs, the 2.0 framework, therefore consciously includes, allows and positively encourages services to consider where they are positioned, in relation to such local eco-system issues (HERE).

But we can go further. Using the Pizazz self-assessment and service planning approach, we can now ask services explicitly, and in a consistent format, both to assess where their services is, and what is holding them back; and even to make positive suggestions (at the action planning stage).

Using the PIE Abacus software as a more systematic channel for such feedback, local service planners and commissioners at least may soon be able to gather, collate and analyses all such responses (HERE). In this way we might hope to see practical and practice-led engagement in addressing gaps and barriers, at local level.

But can we go still further?


National policy frameworks and PIEs 3

The services that we can develop as PIEs are themselves embedded in wider systems over which they have little control. Besides cultural attitudes towards the less fortunate, most services must operate with a local and national framework of policy, funding, and regulation.

Lately, in much of the Western world, a more 'top down' approach has predominated to the provision of services for the public good from the public purse, known as New Public Management. Apart for a very few services that any point in time do seem to have the ear of government, services in day to day contact with their users have had little capacity to influence these wider frameworks of policy and funding and regulation.

There is much work now to be done to communicate better with the national administrations and their policies, within which local funding and commissioning must operate.

To what extent, then, can we aspire to see these wider political and funding 'environments' becoming themselves more 'psychologically informed'?


Systemic issues and systems change

The PIE approach itself has hopefully played its part in helping services approach their own work more systemically - to realise how important it is that all the elements of our work do work together, and to address gaps and barriers (HERE).

But underlying these practical developments, the social exclusion theme, and the social model of disability more broadly, have made us aware that we need to understand marginalisation and exclusion as a social problem, and exclusion as systemic, even institutional.  The 'psychology' - and any other social sciences that we need to tackle such issues - is not so much about understanding individuals, but understanding systems.

As homelessness service and researchers in recent years have begun to explore this territory, a more outward-looking approach extends beyond simply managing homelessness more effectively and more humanely, at an individual level.

The PIEs approach is a natural ally, and the PIElink itself a natural resource, for such initiatives as the New System Alliance, Human Learning Systems, Enabling Help, and a string of other such system change thinkers.


Could there be a 'PIEs 3', specifically for system change?

This, it seems, may now be the new frontier for PIEs; and one possibility is that we may need at some point to go beyond the limits even of the expanded PIEs 2 framework, to tackle the rupture in the feedback loops that seem to be muting the cycles of practice based learning (HERE).

There is a case that can be made both for and against any such development, whether as a new parallel model, or perhaps as a variation to address in a Handbook,, which is considered on another page here (HERE).

What it might entail in some detail is then un-wrapped a little here (HERE)





Further background reading/listening/viewing

PIElink pages

'Joined up thinking' : HERE

Whole systems evaluation and the pubic health paradigm : HERE

A PIE of pathways : HERE

Can commissioning help to encourage PIEs? : HERE

Gaps and Barriers : HERE

Rigidity and system change: HERE

A single framework : HERE

Spaces of opportunity 101 : HERE

The New Public Management approach: HERE


A selection of like-minded agencies & colleagues

Beyond Outcomes (Enabling Help) :  HERE

The New System Alliance : HERE

Human Learning Systems : HERE

Fulfilling Lives : HERE

Collaborate CIC : HERE

Lankelly Chase : HERE


On evaluation : specifics

  • 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 on paper and on screen : HERE


The Pizazz on paper

  • The Pizazz on paper - the paperwork : HERE
  • The Pizazz approach to assessment: HERE
  • The coffee break Pizazz: HERE
  • The Pizazz - what is it NOT? : HERE
  • The Pizazz as a research tool: HERE


The PIE Abacus

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

For more on the PIE Abacus, see:

  • The PIE Abacus - an on-line Pizazz (summary) : HERE
  • Ambition and modesty : HERE
  • The PIE Abacus - FAQs : HERE
  • PIE Abacus use and terms of use : HERE


Library items

The PIE Abacus- essential briefing for PIE leads (and any others in comparable roles) : HERE