From QCDSM to HETAE

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 HETAE 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):

HETAE - Harmless, Effective, Timely, Abundant, Empowering

Harmless

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.

Harmless Metric Examples:

  • Injuries
  • Near misses
  • Distress

Effective

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.

Effective Metric Examples:

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

Timely

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

Timely Metric Examples:

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

Abundant

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?

Abundant Metric Examples:

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

Empowering

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.

Empowering Metric Examples:

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

Minimize Self-distraction and Interruptions

It is often easy to fall into patterns of distraction, due to initial preference or the defaults of a system. With smartphones, virtually every app tries to push notifications at all times, as if they all needed immediate attention. Even without external cues, we lose hours to overuse. With a few ideas, and continuous experimentation, we can minimize self-distraction and interruptions.

Starting Broadly

First, what are the broad categories? Given the content and reactions required, how often should they have our attention? By visualizing and sorting, we can compare and contrast our preferences:

Anything we want/need as often as to the minute is essentially pushed on us. This is not to say that we receive an update every minute or second, but we treat every second we don’t receive a notification as a signal we have nothing to check. Every moment a fire alarm is silent tells us that we don’t have a fire to fight.

Notice When Activity Outstrips Benefit

It helps to notice how much activity is spent per benefit. On YouTube, for example, many creators post little more than weekly. Even if they post more often, the relevance can be short-lived, content can be repetive as situtations evolve, or we only care to watch a portion of the videos. If we check daily or more, it can be easy to lower our content standards as we get into the mode of watching. One is often not enough.

Much of these facts remain true for Podcasts, but for two major differences:

  1. Videos draw far more attention (Hard to do much else)
  2. YouTube is designed to encourage browsing, while many podcast providers focus on subscribed content

Nudge Into Better Habits

Rather than setting strict expectations, beating ourselves up for not changing by will alone, we can adjust our environment until we reach a desired state.

Separate from Pushy Impulses

  • Turn off notifications, or set them to appear at the preffered timing
  • Delete the application and rely on the web version
  • Unsubscribe, set emails to spam, or have them automatically marked as read

Book a Time/Day to Indulge

Once we have figured out the preferred frequency, it helps to set a specific time and/or day to indulge. By planning ahead, we can figure out which periods fit best in relation to other activities. We can also use fixed schedules to lower the risk of conditioning ourselves into excessive use.

We can also take advantage of features, like Android’s Focus Mode, to temporarily block notifications and access to certain applications.

Bundle Activities

Instead of timing, we can also restrict activities to be combined with others:

  • Podcasts with chores
  • Videos with exercise machines
  • Deskwork with a treadmill
  • Audiobooks with drawing or stretching
  • Nearly anything with friends/family

How Many Reasons do we Need to Boycott a Country?

While it is tempting to chase the best “value” for a product, our purchases can end up funding despicable acts on the other side of the world. Tax revenues alone can provide significant support to a regime, but authoritarian governments often have far stronger ties to the exporters from their countries. Knowing this, how many of the behaviours below would be enough for you to choose to boycott a country? Any one of them individually? A grouping of the worst? What if one country committed all of them within the past few years?

Genocide

Concentration Camps

Forced Organ Harvesting

World’s Leading Executioner

Politicized Judiciary

Threating to Invade Neighboring Countries

Naval Attacks

Political Kidnappings

Colonialism

Systemic Discrimination

Supplying Illegal Narcotics

Suppressing Responses to Outbreaks

Censorship of Public and Private Conversations

Using All Businesses for Intelligence Gathering

Illegal Fishing

Environmental Destruction

Fraud

Bribing Foreign Leaders (Elite Capture)

Violating International Treaties

Supporting Authoritarian Regimes


The provided sources vary, but any of the major sites could have provided most or all of the same stories included here. No matter your political stances, you should find a handful of sources you trust to corroborate.

Jitsi Meet, the Zoom Alternative

With all of the flaws of Zoom coming to light, now is a good time to experiment with other services. Jitsi Meet may not be well known, but it offers unique security and privacy protections, while remaining at least as user-friendly as Zoom. Better yet, it is completely open source and free to use without any registration or login. If you are comfortable setting up your own server, you can even host your own instance of the software.

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Thinking Win/Win for Environmentalists and Oil

In disputes, there is often a way for both sides to succeed, as long as people are willing to take the time to understand other perspectives and priorities. In the context of North American environmentalists and energy companies, the situation can seem irreconcilable, yet both want high gas prices.

Cheap imports, often from countries with poor human rights records and weak environmental protections, are keeping prices down. Local gas prices are now so low that any existing carbon tax plan ($0.12/litre) wouldn’t even bring prices up to a sustainable level for the energy sector, while reducing the benefits of electrification.

https://www.gasbuddy.com/Charts
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How Clear is your Vision?

Plenty of people and organizations have vision statements, but where is the vision in:

  • Being the best among our competition? (Relative Mastery)
  • Being great at what we do? (Absolute Mastery)

While mastery is a key aspect of any pursuit, it tells us virtually nothing about the future we want to strive for.

  • Who do we want to become?
  • What do we want to do?

A vision statement should be able to clearly direct the efforts of all involved, acting as a counter to our individual preferences. SpaceX, for example, is clearly the best in its industry; no competitor has been able to keep up with their innovations. Their vision clearly wasn’t to be the best, it is to go to mars. While the statement is a good start, but it is only the seed for a true vision. It should grow and evolve to clarify all of the important aspects:

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Virtual Reality Headsets Will Replace Business Travel

Teleconferencing, with or without video, has reduced some travel over the years. Without the ability to have truly immersive conversations, a face to face experience, professionals continue opting for significant amounts of travel. With recent advancements in virtual reality (VR) hardware and software, few excuses will remain to travel for work. For some, it will be the critical factor to working from home.

Immersion

By covering our entire field of view, the usual distractions of teleconferencing can be easily ignored. With head tracking, we are able to interact intuitively within a 3D environment, for both sight and sound. The first example is specifically augmented reality (AR), with digital people and objects layered on to the physical environment:

Only taste, touch, and smell are left out of the virtual environment, and most of us would consider their absence a perk. Sight and sound are sufficient, while we also gain unlimited access to various objects and tools. By working completely independently from the physical environment, full VR, we can operate far beyond the scale of a room:

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Adapting to the Worst of Inflation

A redditor shared this image recently, produced by the American Enterprise Institute, which is one of the best visualizations of inflation:

inflation trends by category.

Other countries will have different % changes, and many are subsidized by taxes or high fees for other groups. For example, international students often pay significantly higher fees than locals. Despite the funding supports, most aspects leading to high inflation can be found everywhere. The historical comparison is even worse, when we consider the lack of value gained, or lost, with rising costs. By adapting to the worst of inflation, we can focus on enjoying the benefits of the deflating categories.

Hospital Services >+200%

While many costs in healthcare are inflated by medical errors and conflicts of interest, there are legitimate drivers as well. The global population is aging, and our health ultimately worsens with age. Poor global policy decisions have led to the rise of several pathogens resistant to treatment. Hospitals are the worst hit by this, both in the difficulty treating people and maintaining sanitary environments.

Ways to react
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