New Year, New Product

As we enter 2014, we are putting the finishing touches to the first customer beta version of our new product,

Based on our experience of setting, managing and hitting targets, and working with teams and individuals to do so, we’ve designed a collaborative web app to help set and achieve goals.

At the moment, we’re launching the user level of the product; we are also developing a range of business tools to allow you to set up groups of users and goal templates. This helps you add value to your customers by sharing or selling your knowledge, experience and intellectual property.

Keep an eye on for more information!

Highly Commended in 2013 BitC Awards

Commendations in 2012 & 2013

We were delighted to receive another “Highly Commended” in the 2013 Business in the Community Regional Awards in June, following our previous Highly Commended last year.

Last year’s commendation was for our business, this year’s commendation was for our MD, Keith Shering, in the Employee Volunteer of the Year category, reflecting his work as chairman of the Peterborough ProHelp group and for the projects he has taken on and delivered. Continue reading

In praise of volumetric models

I’ve just been building a volumetric model for a large volume consumer-market website. We wanted to make sure that we sized the initial launch infrstructure correctly, and had an understanding of the cost of growth (of both transactions and data volume).

It’s been a doubly useful exercise – as well as giving us the figures we needed, it has also highlighted an unexpected consequence of (an otherwise very sensible) archiving policy decision. This has allowed us to tweak a policy and create a new approach to one aspect of marketing, saving thousands of pounds per year.

Certainly good anecdotal evidence to support the old programmers adage that “it’s cheaper to fix it on paper…”!

Paralympians and Your People

We took the week off last week, so that we could head down to the London 2012 Paralympics – which was simply stunning, by the way, and hugely inspirational.

There is just so much I could blog about from that week beyond the obvious sporting endeavour – organisation, good-humour, commitment, achievement, sportsmanship, generosity of spirit – the list goes on and on.

One thing that really did hit home for me though was the changes in attitude that I really believe the Paralympics will have started.

Paralympic sport is a lot about celebrating, challenging and competing in what people can do, not what they can’t do.

What a great way of looking at life in general; and at the people we interact with every day…

Highly Commended in the 2012 BitC Awards

Critical Action - Highly Commended in 2012 BitC Awards

We’re thrilled to have been Highly Commended in the 2012 Business in the Community Awards for Excellence in the East of England!

The Awards for Excellence, run by Business in the Community, commend the best examples of business as a force for good. This year Business in the Community celebrates 30 years of supporting and encouraging businesses to genuinely transform their businesses and their communities. Continue reading

Supporting Prioritisation Across The Business

Bit of food for thought today.

We have been working with a client recently on a simple, clear way of prioritising both strategic and day-to-day demands on time (in this case for the IT department).

If It’s Too Hard, Abdicate It…?

At Critical Action, we’re great believers in the principle that managers and leaders can’t create two independent sets of priorities for strategic (“we must improve the business”) and tactical (“we must keep our users and customers happy”) activities, and abdicate to operational staff the balancing of the two in the real world. Continue reading

Planning Improvements – for startups?

Simple Tools...

In my last blog post, I outlined three key stages we use to help businesses improve, and I covered the first area (Commercial Imperative – the “why do it?”):

This time around, we’ll look at “Planning Improvements” – how to change the way your people do what they do, and how to give them better tools. These are the old classics of “people, process and technology”.

  • Commercial Imperative – what’s the case for doing it – the “why”
  • Planning Improvements – the what, where, how of action/change
  • Taking Action – the who and when to make change happen

Hold on. You’ve only just started – how can you improve!?

Well, we believe you can, and should, make improvements every day. Continue reading

Since 2012 is “the year of the startup”…

newbusinessopensI’ve read a good number of headlines and articles lately that proclaim 2012 to be the year of the start-up. I suppose there are optimistic and cynical ways of viewing why that might be, but I thought I’d use this as the inspiration for putting my thoughts down in some blog posts aimed at the newer business.

Decide, Design, Deliver

We do a wide range of work, sometimes with long-established businesses, sometimes with start-ups. Continue reading

Lower price? OK, use it more…

It’s been a really busy few months, and what we’ve loved is that much of the work has been really creative.

Our bread and butter is helping businesses dig into how they do what they do, and looking for how we, they and their staff can make incremental improvements. Very satisfying.

The work we really love though, is to look at the situation and help an organisation come up with fabulous new stuff – great, unexpected, (positively) disruptive ways of doing things.

We came up with a really intriguing business model for Qton Solutions (a favourite client of ours because of the idea-storms we generate together!) to consider. Continue reading