Change ideas are defined as the things you can specifically test to see if they make a difference. Now that your team is clear on the aim and change theory, it is time to identify change ideas.
If you have tested the change ideas and your pathway requires further improvement, there are different approaches you can use to come up with change ideas to test. Often a combination of approaches is required, as you will need to develop change to address most or all of your drivers.
Pareto chart – a type of bar concentrate your improvement efforts on chart, which helps you the factors that have the greatest impact. Useful not only when identifying opportunities for improvement, but also in drilling down to showing counts, percentages and rates.
Cause and effect – a diagram-based technique, sometimes called a fishbone diagram, which helps to identify all of the likely causes of the problems you are facing.
Brainstorming – can produce a large number of ideas through interaction with others.
Affinity grouping – an affinity diagram can help you review and analyse ideas generated during brainstorming sessions. The process promotes greater ownership of results, allowing breakthroughs to emerge naturally. Techniques like affinity diagrams and brainstorming can help you to clarify an issue and think up new ideas so you can move onto the next steps.
1-2-4-ALL – process with 5 structural elements for you to, immediately include everyone regardless, of how large the group is generating better ideas and more of them faster than ever before.
Multi-voting – a way for you to narrow down a list of choices down to a manageable few. Multi-voting is not a decision making tool, but a great way to achieve consensus on an option that is most favoured by the group.
Prioritisation Matrix – structured visual tool, to help you decide which improvement ideas to test first and how to focus your activity and energy. It works best in a collaborative environment and can help to build buy-in and communicate why you have chosen to test certain ideas before others.
Learning from others – Benchmarking is learning how others do things, which can be informal by simply observing another team’ or organisations approach and processes. A formal process provides a structure to support this and can be used to compare how things are done differently (practices) alongside key process measures so that the impact can also be compared. It is recommended that the benchmarking process is conducted as a PDSA so that you learn about and continuously improve the process.
The Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle is shorthand for testing a change — by planning it, trying it, studying the results, and acting on what is learned. This is the scientific method, used for action-oriented learning.
PDSA – 3 common reasons to use a PDSA cycle in an improvement effort:
- To build knowledge to help answer any of the three questions in the Model for Improvement
- To test a change
- To implement a change
Lessons learned log
Lessons learned log – used to capture and share knowledge about, what has worked well and what could have been, done differently during the planning, management and delivery of an improvement project. They help others learn from the project team’s experience.