Caution: this section of the site describes a more advanced use of the PIE Abacus.

It is best left unless and until you have read/heard 'The PIE Abacus - essential briefing for PIE leads (and others in comparable roles )' : HERE and/or read/heard/watched the PIEs Assessment training (Coming next)

Key features of the PIE Abacus [2] : 'drilling down'

To recap (from Key features [1]:

As with the pen-and-paper version, the Abacus process allows individuals - frontline staff, managers, volunteers or service users - to input their own initial assessment, which they can then share with others, leading - hopefully - to a discussion within the team or the service. This collective discussion remains a key stage, central in formulating the action plan for the service for the future.  But being on screen then allows us to introduce some quite significant differences; and it as this progresses, that we get to realise the full significance - and the additional potential that has been built into this Abacus software.

Now read on:

Firstly, for simplicity, the pen-and-paper version uses only the five main headings in the PIEs 2.0 framework, with the sub-themes all bundled in together:

  • psychological awareness
  • training and support
  • learning and enquiry
  • spaces of opportunity
  • the Three Rs

The PIE Abacus also starts off with these same five main headline issues - 'the short form'. But the design of the PIE Abacus software will also allow services to go into more detail  (to 'drill down') into any areas of the PIEs 2.0 framework that they would wish to focus more closely on. We'll itemise here a few of the options for the future.

So, for example, you could now identify separately issues in training and in support, and assess them independently.  You could focus on reflective practice at the frontline, and how well that is established throughout your service.  You could examine in more detail the usefulness or otherwise of any psychological techniques or model; or the adequacy of the pathways into and beyond your services in each locality; or the perceived success of some new procedure.

But you could also 'grey out' and simply pass over any issue that seems less relevant. Any outreach service with no buildings of its own can simply exclude that area from their screens, if it adds little. Just don't open that screen. Those involved with evidence-generating practice could add their own views on the nature of the evidence - useful for a more participatory approach to research. But those not currently involved in research could simply exclude this field's screen.

This customisable flexibility is very much in keeping with the spirit of the PIE approach, and especially of the PIEs 2.0 framework, in which customisability is a key issue (HERE). One of the aims of the next stage pilots is to test out and get feedback on how useful introducing such features could actually be, in practice networks.


NB: the on-line training course for PIE leads and others - 'PIEs, Pizazz and the PIE Abacus: Intermediate level training' - goes into all this in considerably more depth. It is currently being finalised, taking into account many recent developments; and will be available shortly after the launch of the PIE Abacus, in the Spring of 2021.


Further background reading/listening/viewing

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

And you can watch the whole of the iAbacus website's introduction to the PIE Abacus, and invitation to the pilots : HERE


PIElink pages

Getting started with the PIE Abacus : HERE

Key features of the PIE Abacus [1]: the ‘short form’HERE

Key features of the PIE Abacus [2]: ‘drilling down’ : HERE

Key features of the PIE Abacus [3]: adding in 'bespoke' fields is HERE

Key features of the PIE Abacus [4]: using the ‘overlay’ features is HERE

PIE Abacus use and terms of use :  HERE


PLEASE NOTE: a more in-depth on-line training on all these features and more, intended for PIE Leads and others in comparable roles, is currently in preparation.

Piloting the PIE Abacus

Aims of the pilot HERE

Timescales and time commitment HERE

The story so far

The Pizazz approach

For the overall introduction to the Pizazz, see: Introducing : The Pizazz

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

The pen-and-paper version

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