s224 Cooperation at eye-level with a universal evaluation system

A standardized and accepted rating is a prerequisite for any cooperation - for agile as well as traditional teams

Making and implementing decisions is the core activity of leadership and any kind of cooperation. Every decision is preceded by an evaluation process. The subsequent implementation process requires ratings as well as the follow-up review of the achievement of the given objectives.

If a person is born to make decisions, he is also forced to constantly evaluate  considering that – as Ernst Pöppel once calculated – he makes 20,000 decisions a day. 

Decisions per day
Figure 01: Decisions per Day

The majority of these ratings take place without being accessible to the conscious mind. If these highly functional rating processes are to be consciously carried out in humans and decisions are to be made safely and on time, the basic prerequisite is a standardized and accepted rating system.

The KiE scale

The KiE scale allows quick and clear evaluations and always forces a clear decision. The internal structure of the KiE Scale is suitable for all types of decisions: 
1. Leading question – precise focus
2. KiE scale type – guaranteed decision – here with the functional area on the right
3. Areas of meaning – action orientation

KiE Scale
Figure 02: KiE scale structure

The manifold cognitive biases that lead to distorted ratings and bad decisions are either excluded by the KiE scale, compensated for by group competence or considerably reduced:
1. loss aversion is largely avoided by the asymmetry of the KiE scale
2. the various anchoring effects are avoided by the simultaneous uncovering of the KiE cards as well as by an anonymously released evaluation by the KiE-DecisionMaker
3. the “response biases” along with the various effects of an open rating in a team situation or with the participation of managers, but also the effects of a closed or internal rating can be reduced by the internal logic of the KiE scale, or  completely avoided. 

The KiE scale is just as suitable for individual as for team decisions and serves as a standardized and accepted rating for all DecisionMaking processes.

The highly functional rating processes that the individual performs in about 20,000 decisions per day could never have been consciously processed due to their number and duration. With the KiE scale, however, they can be decoded effortlessly.

The KiE scale maps intuition

The central importance of intuition and its lightning-fast access to expert knowledge for decision-making is undisputed. However, the simple impulse from intuition is not sufficiently differentiated.  The KiE scale does not have a middle ground and thus always forces a decision. The missing vanishing point don’t allow not making a decision. The KiE scale’s inner structure is therefore suitable for the conscious use of intuition and reproduces it precisely.

With this characteristic, the scale can be used equally for intuition and cognition. This is the only way to combine intuition and cognition into a decision strategy. 

KiE intuition with KiE-Skale
Figure 03: KiE Scale supports intuition

The KiE scale supports intuitive as well as cognitive decision making and is easy to document. This transparency opens the way for the use of group competence.

Gamification and application

The flexibility of the KiE scale makes it a universal, accepted and standardized rating system for all agile ceremonies as well as for all decision-making processes, traditional meetings and ratings as well as surveys of all kinds. The size of the groups as well as the respective situations provide orientation:
1. KiE cards and the KiE app for interactions Face2Face with 2 to 24 people
2. flipchart with sticky dots for moderations with from 15 to 120 participants. The size can be scaled by dividing the flipchart into groups
3. KiE-DecisionMaker as a cloud service for groups of any size that can also participate Face2Face, online, remotely and globally in ratings and DecisionMaking processes
4. embedded in collaboration tools, especially for agile ceremonies 

Figure 04: Gamification with KiE Cards, KiE DecisionMaker, KiE app and others

With the KiE scale type (right), which has the functional area on the right in ascending order from left to right, many application areas can be covered. For a flexible system for arbitrary evaluation, different natural scale types, standardized scales such as the Net Promoter Score as well as individual scales are mapped.

Die KiE-Skalen Typen
Figure 05: KiE scale types

The transparency of the KiE scale opens the way to use group competence and lets everyone have their say at the same time.

Team evaluation – an uninfluenced rating in a few seconds

The KiE scale allows 100% involvement of all parties participating in an evaluation and decision-making process. That is, everyone has their say at the same time:

exclusion ancer effects
Figure 06: Exclusion of anchor effects

The benefit of the KiE scale is immediately apparent:

  • A rating with any number of participants is generated in a few seconds
  • The results of the evaluation are immediately and clearly visible
  • The ratings are immediately and automatically documented

Even the simple application of the KiE scale with KiE charts circumvents the usual anchoring effects. Everyone receives an equal vote, from the dominating executive with  the incendiary speech on the so-called alternative-free decision, to the  risk-averse objector or the  reserved expert.

The forcing of positions as well as retractions will be issues of the past.  This means that all parties involved must commit to their position in the process in the interest of the good decision. This creates the foundation for the further and sustainable decision-making process.

Know-it-alls, self-promoters and frequent speakers do not get a chance to speak or are exposed as such . Power struggles and self-presentations are contained and levelled out, since everyone has the same standardized voice that is understandable and accepted by everyone. The futile attempts at decision-making with appeals or rules are given neither space nor are they any longer necessary. The decision-making process itself, with its inherent logic, ensures discipline, participation and pleasure in a good result that is safely achieved.

In February of 2001, 17 independent experts met in Utah, in the USA, and formulated the agile manifesto. This document consists of four central theses and twelve principles from which the five agile values, namely openness, focus, eye-level, courage and commitment were derived. KiE-DecisionMaking extends these values to include “participation” as indispensable for cooperation at eye level.

Agile value in KiE scale
Figure 07: Agile value in KiE scale

The application of the KiE scala creates commitment, clarity and appreciation, which ensures a pleasant atmosphere in the relationship between people and the achievement of goals. It is a relevant aspect of clear and decisive decision-making. The KiE scala thus provides the necessary basis for agile methods which – together with the other KiE DecisionMaking Tools – stand for the success of the digital transfer.

Documentation for IT and Artificial Intelligence

Due to its internal structure, the KiE scale is suitable for the documentation of arbitrary decision-making processes. Suitability ranges from free dialogue, topic-centered or rule-based meetings, agile ceremonies, checklists, documented processes, multi-level processes with different aspects, to contractor and client communication, as well as partner networks and e-mail communication. The application knows no limits, as the inner logic demonstrated is aligned with human decision-making processes. An outstanding feature is its suitability for digital processes. As the KiE number is a single number, it can be integrated into any IT process and artificial intelligence with little effort. Thus, the integration with a design that works well into ticket systems such as Jira, Request-Tracker or Freshdesk has been implemented with little effort.

Restart at any time – results are reliably achieved

During the decision-making process, intermediate statuses and partial results can be easily described and at the same time automatically documented. After interruptions or irritations, the last intermediate status can be easily and purposefully resumed. The KiE scale has thus become a tool that protects investments and at the same time reliably leads to decisions. 

Detection of incoherences and cognitive biases

With a suitable design, inconsistencies are immediately detected. Those people who are participating can be clearly guided with decision-making processes. If they are confronted with incoherence, a correction can be initiated, an clarification can be initiated and if necessary the gaps can be filled with the resource question.

A company in the financial industry was preparing for digital transfer. The following key questions clearly showed the divisional managers an incoherence within their organization. The frequently used tactic – with me everything is fine, but with the others it’s not – was revealed.

KiE scale with inconsistency
Figure 08: KiE scale with inconsistency

Inconsistencies and cognitive biases become apparent and can be resolved in the decision-making process with group competence:
1. presumption distortion, the overestimation of one’s own abilities and competences
2. the Dunning-Kruger effect, the tendency of less competent people to overestimate their own abilities and underestimate the abilities of others
3. the KiE scale ensures the sustainability of success in the short and long term.

More about the series of KiE-DecisionMaking Tools

Further articles about the different human decision forms can be found after the source below under tag „Article series KiE-DecisionMaking Tools“.

More about the series Artificial Intelligence

More articles about artificial intelligence and how it can be extended with KiE can be found after the sources below at tag “Artificial Intelligence“.


März 2020, Richard Graf und Elsa Graf

A standardized and accepted rating is a prerequisite for any cooperation – for agile as well as traditional teams.” Richard Graf


ARIELY, Dan. Predictably irrational. New York, NY: Harper Audio, 2008.

GRAF, Richard. „Die neue Entscheidungskultur: Mit gemeinsam getragenen Entscheidungen zum Erfolg“. Carl Hanser Verlag München, 2018.

KAHNEMAN, Daniel. Thinking, fast and slow (Kindle Edition), 2011.

MANIFESTO, Agile. Agile manifesto. Available in http://www. agilemanifesto.org, 2001.

PÖPPEL, Ernst. Zum Entscheiden geboren. Hirnforschung für Manager, München, 2008.

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