Tag Archives: Analysis

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…”!

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


We’ve been playing with words, images, emotions, icons and so on for some branding work we’re doing on a new offering. Something that fell out of this was a word that I just liked the sound of:


Then I thought a bit more about it – the flow of talent. This seemed like quite a useful concept to me.

As business owners, managers and leaders, there are two crucial concerns – creating value for stakeholders (owners, shareholder, staff, investors, communities, etc.) and finding and keeping good people for our teams. Value and Talent. Continue reading

Making Improvements: Can Simple Really Work?

Simple Tools...

Simple Tools...

One of our mantras is “keep it simple“, because we work in an area that is complicated enough to begin with!

When we look at how businesses can improve, it inevitably means having to maintain the big picture (where are we heading?) together with digging into the details (as they can often be the blockers). To drive simplicity through what we do, we evolved a very simple set of tools & reports, which we use to run projects.

Why simple, when we’re trying to analyse and solve complex problems? Continue reading

The Headline Test

What might Concorde crashing on take-off, and the Iraq War Inquiry tell us about making business decisions?

I often end up in situations where I am helping businesses make tricky decisions, some of which may have been put off for some time. They usually involve big, important things that affect people, profit, livelihoods, even lives. Continue reading

Perfectionism – Enemy of Priority?

Business improvement thoughts come to me in the strangest places…

We’ve just had a period of sunshine and rain that has been great for the grass in our horses’ field, but it has also caused the ragwort to sprout. Ragwort is poisonous to horses and needs to be thoroughly eradicated from fields (I think it may even be an offence to knowingly let it grow).

This means going out with a special fork to remove the plants including the deep roots. My wife asked me to concentrate first on the plants that had grown enough in the week to flower, to prevent them going to seed and exacerbating the problem.

Being my usual self, I set out with the wheelbarrow and fork, determined to clear every last vestige of ragwort from a 3 acre field. Continue reading