QCDSM is a decent start for performance tracking, but the categories leave many struggling to define the best metrics. After several iterations, I believe I have an alternative worth sharing, . The key benefits of changing from QCDSM to HEATE include:

  • Safety first, and a better sorting of importance, though all are critical for the long term
  • The categories drive more towards the ideals than merely the type of metric
  • The categories are more intuitively relevant to all contexts
  • Acronymable (not yet a real word)

Now that you’re primed for some of the differences, here are the new factors (in a basic diagram for now):


First, do no harm. Any effort will be severely crippled if there is collatoral damage. Until your solutions are 100% harmless, we should continuously attempt to harm less.


While this includes obvious physical harm, it would also be important to know when and how we may cause distress.


Metric Examples:

  • Injuries
  • Near misses
  • Distress

Our ability to effectively solve a problem includes, but is not limited to, the quality of our solution. In other words, we must strive to eliminate defects, but to also create new solutions with greater impact.


Metric Examples:

  • Prevent > Solve/Cure > Improve > Stall > No Effect > Worsen
  • Defects
  • Mistakes
  • Customer Ratings/Reviews/Scores

Abundance covers the ability to ensure enough capacity to meet demand.


How easily can we meet demand? Does the cost per unit increase/decrease steadily or suddenly at any point?


Metric Examples:

  • Work per Unit
  • Total Workload
  • Cost per Unit
  • Cost of Equipment and Supplies
  • External Setup Time



Even a harmless cure is no good when it arrives too late, and prevention is better yet.


Metric Examples:

  • Lead Time
  • Wait Time
  • Internal Setup Time
  • Availability

Empowerment makes it easier to achieve the other categories, both functionally and emotionally. If every stakeholder is willing and able to contribute to improvement efforts, then we can be far more effective with more abundant opportunities.


Metric Examples:

  • Unsolicited ideas
  • Satisfaction scores
  • Turnover rates
  • Applicants per position
  • Fan mail

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