TOPIC Tracker of Performance
and Improved Confidence

ToPiC is a tool built by Telos Digital, specifically for the customers of Telos Partners, in order to improve the appraisal process, and get a more complete review of performance.

By measuring not just what we do, but the way that we do it, our customers can improve cultural behaviours, leading to better success outcomes.

ToPiC Logo

Introduction to ToPiC


A customer needed support for their appraisal process, designed to get a more complete review of performance: not just "what we do", but "the way we do it". They hypothesised that better success outcomes strongly correlate with better cultural behaviours; we proved this and helped them to continuously improve their individual performance and team culture. To do this, Telos Digital built ToPiC, a highly-customised survey, self-analysis, feedback, and reporting tool for them, which Telos Partners then used for discussion and feedback sessions with the individuals.

The Problem

Our customers need a performance appraisal process that can: add precision to the definition of behaviours; incorporate an assessment of observed behaviours in the appraisal process; aggregate team and organisational performance to learn from general trends; and improve their ability to feedback to improve performance and confidence. Each customer's process and requirements is different.

Our Response

We created a platform to provide a secure, confidentiality-assured, process to enable people to participate fully in a periodic performance-review, embracing both behaviours and results. ToPiC has a very flexible data-structure and analysis framework, allowing both self-reflection, and pseudonymised feedback between team members. It supports many question/answer formats, with embedded help, and has flexible administration tools (to check progress, chase-up, and view/redact answers if need-be). ToPiC creates graphical reports for each user, for a team overview, or for all-participants, showing a customised set of charts, including box/whisker and Ansoff-matrices.

Customer Outcome

We were able to take well-defined behaviours, acknowledged as essential to the business model, and request observations on frequency and specific examples from those in contact with each individual. This data facilitates a well-documented performance review, and the capability to aggregate organisation-wide data to build a broader understanding of where support may need to be developed. Feedback sessions have been particularly successful, as the discussions have been on areas where maintaining positive behaviours is acknowledged, and where changes are identified to enhance future effectiveness. The ToPiC system is also an adaptable platform for future customers, and can also be used for general-purpose feedback and surveys.


Please see also:


ToPiC is a powerful and capable platform. Here are some of its key features:

  • Cloud-based: easy to configure, customise and deploy. Self-contained, so it does not require additional infrastructure.
  • Responsive: works on any device, whether you prefer the convenience of a phone, the ease of typing of a desktop, or the visualisation power of a huge screen.
  • Groupings: survey respondents can be separated into groups and sub-groups, or shown as an entire team.
  • Anonymity: responses can be attributed (by name), grouped, or securely anonymised.
  • Feedback: in addition to responses from users, ToPiC can gather responses about users, allowing each person (in a defined group) to give feedback to, or about, other team members.
  • Question Categories and Groups: questions can be grouped into sections and categories for ease of navigation. Different sets of respondents can be shown different sets of questions if desired.
  • Questions: are easy to define: ask the question simply and directly, with optional further details and context to explain it.
  • Answers: can be in many flexible formats including: 0-5; 0-10; yes/no; select; multi-select; text. All answers may have comments: this is essential to form a true picture.
  • Nullable responses: distinguish zero from n/a. This prevents a faulty analysis, where "I don't know" is often conflated with "Failed".
  • Detailed and customisable reporting: with bars, radar-charts, Ansoff-matrices, and box-plots, (see below). Reports can be generated for individuals, teams, or an overview for management.
  • Navigation: explore the data by diving into groups, sub-groups, and individual reports (when not-anonymised), with extensive cross-links.
  • Statistics: analysis is included. ToPiC can also utilise metadata, if you specify it, to slice the data in different ways.
  • Admin tools: ease of setup, facilitate invitations and reminders, and ability to redact responses, if need be, before sharing the report.
  • Access control: determine who may respond, and who may view the responses. By default, only the admins may, however access can be granted to individuals to view their own results.
  • Crash-proof: if you lose your Wi-Fi, battery, or your browser crashes, you can resume where you left-off without losing your work.
  • Integrated help: comprehensive online help throughout, with footnotes, tooltips, titles, and colours where needed.
  • Themeable: ToPiC can easily be themed and branded to suit your needs.
  • Secure, performant and scaleable, built on a modern platform and codebase of Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, Bootstrap and Plotly.
  • Customisable: we wrote it; we can adapt it and customise features to fit your requirements.

Customised Reporting

ToPiC features a detailed and comprehensive reporting mechanism, with multiple interactive graph-types, and comprehensive help. Tooltips help to explain data, when browsing.

ToPiC Ansoff Description
Explanation of the Ansoff matrix, and how to interpret it.
ToPiC results vs behaviour
Performance overview: comparing results vs. behaviours. Each bubble represents a team-member, hover for details.
ToPiC results with statistics
Aggregate score for management. Statistics and comments are displayed. Note that one person gave a "n/a" answer.
ToPiC Team vs. Self appraisal.
Box plot, showing self-appraisal, the distribution of feedback from colleagues, and, for comparison, the whole team.

The examples, plotted above, show only synthesised data from the test system (for data-privacy reasons), but our real world results with clients have indeed shown that better "team-behaviours" generally do lead to better "measurable-results". This constitutes experimental proof of the Telos Partners' principle of investing in long-term sustainable success.