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

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.
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Global Supply Chains cannot be Just in Time

The news has been full of descriptions of shortages caused by Just in Time (JIT) supply chains sourcing from China. While it is possible to use air freight to keep transport times within two weeks, most buyers would have to wait at least a month for sea freight. Countless events could disrupt supply and/or demand within a month, leading to significant shortages or overstock:

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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

VR Collaboration

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.


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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Communicate for Connection

It is all too easy to use communication to focus attention on ourselves, as if we are always the most important person in the situation. Worse yet, we often use our problems to make demands. If we don’t honor the dignity of others, we risk apathy or resentment. There are many ways to improve, but we can start by refining our words:

To tie in the AMP framework, it is important to respect the autonomy of others. We should also give people the opportunity to use their expertise to offer unexpected ideas. If we push forward with only our own knowledge and creativity, the best solutions will be missed.

Expanding Perspectives

Expanding perspectives exposes new opportunities to improve value. This can be through time, people, space, or any factor relevant to a problem.

Helping More People

In most cases, any solution requires much less societal effort if we try to help more people. This often adds some complexity to the design, but the cost per person is far less. Discoveries are the best examples, as we can share them globally with little additional effort.

The video is actually an example of 2 types of discovery:

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How AMPed are You?

In this classic TED talk, Dan Pink refers to autonomy, mastery, and purpose (AMP) as key factors to motivation. While some will jump to motivation in the sense of getting something, I find it as useful in the sense of motivation to keep going, goal or not. We should find energy from both our current situation and unrealized potential.

Tracking and visualizing AMP

As with anything we care about, it helps to understand our current state and possible futures. As an example, I created a table with some factors that contribute to my AMP. I have given each a score, 4 at best and 1 at worst.

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Better Sooner than Later

Inflation aside, money earned in early years is worth more than in later years, due to growth potential as an investment. Put another way, a $10 hourly wage is worth more when you’re 18, than it is when you’re 40. Buying power, at the time, may be low, but it can become significant after years of compounding as an investment. Assuming you can return a modest 5%, annually, $10 becomes $70 dollars in 40 years:

Compounded Earnings
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