Exploring the PIE Abacus (for PIE leads) - PIEs community of practice forum discussion.

NB: For background to the Season Two PIEs forum programme discussion on Exploring the PIE Abacus, you may find it helpful - for those that can find the time - to browse some of the material here.

But for most, this is all very new; and there is no expectation that anyone joining the forums will have had the time yet to read or view all or any of this.

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The PIE Abacus – texts and video briefings for PIE leads

The PIE Abacus – texts and video briefings for PIE leads

With this page, we can now make available  a range of resources in both text and video format (later also in audio), for PIE leads in any agency or network - and any others who may find this useful. These aim to highlight the remarkable versatility of this software, and how a relatively small set of core features can be used in a remarkable variety of ways.

The intention is firstly to give you yourselves a fuller understanding of what the PIE Abacus has to offer; and secondly, to provide you with extra material that you might find it useful to use, or refer to, when talking with others - frontline staff, middle managers, other services - or your own CEO or finance directors.

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Text documents

Firstly, in the right hand column here you will find the contents page of a Library document entitled : The PIE Abacus - essential briefing for PIE leads : HERE.

  • This reasonably comprehensive (and therefore rather lengthy) document aims to summarise, specifically from the point of view of PIE leads, much of the material that is otherwise scattered across many different pages, from many different perspectives (and often with more detail and/or more examples) .
  • For an indication of the content, we have contents page, at the bottom of this page.

Secondly, we have a much shorter document that you will want to read, entitled: Weighing the costs and the 'value added' of the PIE Abacus : HERE

  • This Library document spells out the basic costs of an account, and of additional Abacuses: and suggests various ways that 'low budget' organisations or networks of various kinds might go about sharing a PIE Abacus customer account.

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Video introductions and applications

But here we have the first in what will be a series of videos, illustrating all the above points and more, but with a narrative voice, and visual aids (even some visual jokes). This video resource library will grow over time, with feedback (from people such as yourselves) over what is useful and what is most needed.

  • Please note that there is some duplication between these videos, as we approach the same issues and potential from multiple angles. Though this may be tedious, hopefully it will help, by repetition, to bring home the point that this software is highly adaptable.
  • Also these videos are not slick and professionally produced. They are what we can make, until such time as we have the income to make better - as the video on re-investment of income explains...

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Our first (HERE) illustrates how a medium- to large agency can use the PIE Abacus not just to provide an effective and engaging version of the Pizazz on paper, but to then pool this data to get an overview of what is happening across the board, or in specific areas.

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Our second (HERE) reverses this rather 'top down', 'Head Office' perspective, to look at using the PIE Abacus as a way to offer support to frontline services, whether they be struggling or innovating.

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Our third (HERE) looks wider, outside any specific agency, to explore the ways that a local authority or other strategic commissioners' grouping can create a channel for feedback on pathways, bottlenecks, gaps and barriers, in a local strengths and needs audit.

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Our fourth (HERE), in this introductory series, looks at the world, and the Abacus, from the perspective of the smaller agencies or networks; and how smaller services - often quite cash-strapped and sometimes quite isolated - can form consortia, both to share costs and for mutual support.

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The fifth in this series (coming soon) looks at the possibilities of using the PIE Abacus in research, to explore what we here call the middle ground - that is, between small scale, hyper-local, true to context but small scale, and larger, technically (ie.statistically) well evidenced but ignoring either context or personalisation.

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Finally - for now - we have a video (HERE) that looks at the costs structure of the PIE Abacus, partly to explain the thinking behind these costs (as also detailed, with broad examples, in 'Weighing the costs') but mainly to describe what we mean to do with the income, in re-investing a substantial part of it (over and above the running costs) in development in complex needs work itself.

 

............(NB: We should soon have a video that looks more specifically at the way that service users can be involved in in-put to such discussions, with a PIE Abacus of their own - and what work we need yet to do, in developing a service user language for PIEs, to make this work.)

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The 'essential briefing for PIE leads' : contents

1: Preamble for PIE leads

  • A single narrative
  • Keep it simple
  • The scope for more advanced uses

 

2: PIE Abacus accounts and Team Abacuses

  • Creating an ‘iAbacus for PIEs’ account.
  • Whole team Abacuses
  • Team scribes
  • Creating the first team Abacuses

 

3: Creating ‘topic’ Abacuses

  • Developing your PIE Abacus structure
  • Overlaying
    • Three brief illustrations (outreach, women’s, northern division)
  • Sharing permissions and powers

 

4: More advanced uses

  • Customising Abacuses ( and terms of use)
    • Drilling down and ‘bespoke’ fields
    • Service users’ assessments
    • Pruning to a single thread Abacus
    • Individual Abacuses
    • Networking - joining others’ Abacuses
  • Overlaying and stacking
    • Multiple Abacuses
    • Roll-out, and transitions
    • Trouble-shooting, buddying

 

5: Future development

  • Future options in software development
  • Terms of use
  • Re-investment and PIRAN

 

6:  PIEs assessment trainings

 

 

Across the board - creating a PIE Abacus structure for a medium- to large agency.

 

Supporting frontline services, whether they be struggling or innovating.

 

Local pathways, gaps and barriers, in a strengths and needs audit.

 

S

Smaller agencies or networks; and forming consortia.

 

The issues of research into PIEs; and the quite new possibilities that this software opens for research.

 

Licences, costs, and the income re-investment strategy

 

5th draft: dated 27/6/2021