Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About PuMP

Take a shortcut to the answer for the question you have, here:

  1. What is the PUMP Blueprint?
  2. What does PuMP stand for?
  3. Who developed the PuMP Blueprint?
  4. How were the 8 struggles and bad habits first identified?
  5. Where did the PuMP techniques come from?
  6. How does PuMP work with the Balanced Scorecard?
  7. Do you need to know a lot of maths or stats before learning PuMP?
  8. What is PuMP Certification?
  9. Can consultants use PuMP commercially without a license?

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FAQ 1: What is the PUMP Blueprint?

PuMP is the name of a methodology for designing a performance measurement process, and it’s the most rigorous, practical and engaging approach known around the world.

It is a process to lead small teams through eight deliberate steps to measure and reach their goals:

  • STEP 1 Understanding Measurement’s Purpose. We begin by helping the team understand what good measurement means and how to do it properly, avoiding the most common struggles and problems, and engaging them from the start.
  • STEP 2 Mapping Measurable Results. Before we get into measures, the team translates their goals or objectives into measurable performance results, and link and align them to the rest of the organisation’s strategy.
  • STEP 3 Designing Meaningful Measures. With no need for brainstorming, the team follows a five-step measure design technique to carefully craft measures that are the most relevant and feasible evidence their performance results.
  • STEP 4 Building Buy-in to Measures. Before implementing the measures, the team involves a wide variety of stakeholders in a very easy, fast and social event. It builds buy-in and excitement, both for measuring performance in general and for their new measures in particular.
  • STEP 5 Implementing Measures. With a set of well-supported measures, the team details and documents exactly how each of them should be implemented, in a Corporate Performance Measure Dictionary.
  • STEP 6 Reporting Performance Measures. To communicate and monitor their measures, the team follows specific principles to produce performance reports that answer the three questions they should answer, and that are engaging and easy to navigate, to make priority insights jump off the page.
  • STEP 7 Interpreting Signals from Measures. Step 7 uses the PuMP Interpreting Measures technique to make the true signals of change in the team’s performance measures obvious, statistically valid, and insightful.
  • STEP 8 is Reaching Performance Targets. In Step 8, the PuMP Using Measures technique helps us choose and implement performance improvements that target the root causes, moving performance to its target, for the least effort and hence a high return on investment (ROI).

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FAQ 2: What does PuMP stand for?

PuMP stands for ‘Performance Measurement Process’. A client nicknamed it PuMP, rightly explaining that the ‘u’ meant that making it happen is up to ‘you’. That’s because good performance measurement needs to be deliberate, with the right kind of thinking. Dashboards and software can’t do it for us.

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FAQ 3: Who developed the PuMP Blueprint?

PuMP was created by Stacey Barr. She first developed the concepts into rudimentary techniques in her role as Measurement Consultant in Queensland Rail, between 1993 and 1999. She found it impossible to find good performance measurement methodologies to assist her, so had to develop her own.

When Stacey left the corporate world to become a freelance consultant, she continued to develop her measurement techniques to help other clients. The approach evolved into a complete process that became known as PuMP.
Stacey continues to review and improve PuMP, to make the experience of measuring performance easier, faster and more meaningful and engaging for her clients.

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FAQ 4: How were the 8 struggles and bad habits first identified?

When Stacey originally developed each PuMP technique, it was inspired by her own struggles with her internal clients at Queensland Rail. But when she left to work on her own, she found her new clients had similar struggles. Then, after starting her email newsletter, she discovered even more people around the world shared those same struggles. And through first-hand observation, Stacey saw the patterns of behaviour – she calls them the bad KPI habits – that are at the root of the struggles.

Intrigued, she began formally collecting data from new subscribers (there have been tens of thousands over the years) about their biggest performance measurement struggles. And with thousands of data points, Stacey is convinced now that 8 struggles which inspired the design of PuMP continue to be the most relevant problems people have with measuring performance today.

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FAQ 5: Where did the PuMP techniques come from?

PuMP’s techniques were designed based on Stacey’s experience, education, and experimentation with a range of ideas from other fields of study. Some of these include:

  • systems thinking
  • process improvement
  • strategic planning
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • group facilitation
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming
  • mathematical statistics
  • quality management
  • visual design
  • visual analysis
  • survey design
  • open space technology

Each PuMP technique has been tested thoroughly, in many different sectors, industries, languages and cultures, to ensure it works faster and better than the traditional approaches to measuring performance (the bad KPI habits).

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FAQ 6: How does PuMP work with the Balanced Scorecard?

PuMP is a specific performance measurement methodology. The Balanced Scorecard is a strategy design and execution methodology. And they do work together quite well. PuMP starts helping at the point in the Balanced Scorecard steps where you form your strategic objectives. PuMP helps make them measurable, and will provide the steps to design the best measures and implement those measures to track and test strategy execution, to achieve targets and performance improvements.

If you cascade your Balanced Scorecard to multiple tiers, then PuMP will do the same thing at the similar step, where objectives are formed.

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FAQ 7: Do you need to know a lot of maths or stats before learning PuMP?

PuMP doesn’t require much more than basic mathematics – percentages, ratios, averages. It teaches the rest. The idea is that with PuMP we start with the basics so everyone can appreciate better measurement. Buy-in is more important than sophistication.

We have had blue collar teams go through PuMP, who have had no prior experience of performance measurement, and have successfully come to appreciate and enjoy the benefits of measuring their results. We have plenty of people who claim not to be a “numbers person” quickly see the value in measuring and confidently design good measures and even graph them in an XmR chart and correctly interpret them.

PuMP is designed to gently and logically pace people through the thinking required to meaningfully measure what matters. And because we also encourage PuMP to be implemented in teams, and suggest a team profile that includes a “data person”, everyone ends up helping each other along the way, so the IQ of the team goes up!

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FAQ 8: What is PuMP Certification?

Every graduate of PuMP training, whether it’s an in-house, public or online program, you can opt to take the PuMP Certification exam. PuMP Certification objectively demonstrates your ability to develop performance measures that are meaningful, aligned to strategy, implemented efficiently and focused on driving performance improvement. It means that your PuMP know-how is formally acknowledged and you can add another powerful certification to your resume. More information is here.

An important thing to note is that being PuMP Certified doesn’t mean that you are licensed to use PuMP commercially with your clients, if you are a consultant.

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FAQ 9: Can consultants use PuMP commercially without a license?

The short answer is no, not without a PuMP Partner license agreement established directly with Stacey Barr.

PuMP is a proprietary method, developed by Stacey Barr. She has spent her entire career designing, testing, refining and proving the effectiveness of PuMP. And she has developed comprehensive resources for other consultants to use PuMP as a service they can offer to their clients. These resources ensure that PuMP is positioned, promoted, and delivered in a way that Stacey knows gets the best results for clients. Only consultants who become licensed PuMP Partners can have access to these resources, and only licensed PuMP Partners receive Stacey’s promotion and endorsement as masters in teaching and facilitating PuMP, and her personal support in growing their business.

If you are a consultant and wish to use PuMP with your clients, please contact us directly for more information.

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If you have more questions about PuMP:

If you have any questions about PuMP, that this page does not answer, please contact us as [email protected].

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