Tools

There are a range of quality improvement tools which will help with your project.

The tools are tried and tested and different tools will help you at different stages of your project.

They will help you to:

  • Identify what your quality improvement issue is
  • Understand the problem
  • Develop a clear strategy
  • Test your idea
  • Implement your idea
  • Maintain the momentum
  • Measure the difference your project improvement project has made.

Recommended tools

The tools can be used for a wide variety of situations and in all services.

Tool library

There is a short description of some of the quality improvement tools below, with links through to NHS Improvement ACT Academy online library of quality, service improvement and redesign (QSIR) tools to find out more.

  • All tools
  • KCHFT
  • NHSI

15 seconds 30 minutes

15 seconds 30 minutes (15s30m) aims to help anyone identify how they could spend a few extra seconds on a task now which will save someone else 30 minutes or more later on.

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Brainstorming

To generate lots of new ideas try a brainstorming session. This is a group creative technique to gather a list of ideas.

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Driver diagram

Driver diagram image

This is a tool which can help you plan your quality improvement project activities.

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Fishbone diagram

A fishbone diagram, also called a cause and effect diagram, or an Ishikawa diagram, is a visualization tool for categorizing the potential causes of a problem, in order to identify its root causes.

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Fishbone diagram template

Fishbone diagram template

Download Fishbone diagram template

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Fresh eyes

This tool will help to generate new ideas. It encourages looking at a situation with fresh eyes, or from a new or different perspective.

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Illustrated introduction to QI

QI virtual training sessions

Here is our illustrated introduction to quality improvement (QI) The drawings were created as part of our first QI conference, held in July 2019. The booklet explains some of the concepts of improvement work.

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Life QI quick guide

Life QI is an online quality improvement (QI) platform that makes it easy for teams to run QI projects and organisations to report on QI activity.

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NHS Improvement driver diagram tool

NHSI driver diagram tool image

Take a look at this tool to help with your quality improvement project.

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Pareto analysis

Pareto analysis helps to identify changes which will result in the greatest benefits. It is a useful tool when you have to decide between many possible courses of action and resources are limited.

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Pareto chart tool

A Pareto chart is a type of chart which contains both bars and a line graph. It displays categories of data in descending order. A Pareto chart will highlight the most important among a set of factors.

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Plan your project

Project plan template image

Use our project plan templates for your project. There is a full version and a short version.

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Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles

PDSA cycle template

You can use PDSA cycles to test an idea, by trialling a change on a small scale and assessing its impact.

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Prioritisation matrix

Prioritisation matrix template image

Use this prioritisation matrix template to help with your quality improvement project.

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Process mapping

Process mapping allows you to create a visual picture of how something currently works, capturing every step.

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Project flow chart

Project process

Download Project flow chart

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Project idea template

project idea template

A project idea template to help you when you start a quality improvement project.

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Project on a page template

Project on a page

Start filling this in when you first begin your quality improvement project.

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Run charts

Run chart is a line graph of data plotted over time. It will help you find trends and patterns. It is a simple way to help analyse information.

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Six thinking hats

Six Thinking Hats® will help you look at things from different perspectives.

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SMART aims and an aims statement

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound – and SMART aims can be used to provide a structured approach to developing and designing a work plan.

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Stakeholder analysis

This involves speaking with all those whose interests should be taken into account, who might include clinicians, administrative colleagues, patients and user groups.

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Stakeholder map template

Stakeholder map template

Download Stakeholder map template

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Statistical process control

Statistical process control (SPC) is a method of quality control which uses statistical methods to monitor and control a process.

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Statistical Process Control (SPC) chart

A Statistical Process Control (SPC) chart helps to see what is different to the norm. It charts changes over time and shows data plotted in time order.

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Sustainability model

The sustainability model is a diagnostic tool which will identify strengths and weakenesses in an implementation pla and predict the likelihood of sustainability for an improvement initiative.

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Sustainability tool

This diagnostic tool helps to identify strengths and weaknesses in implementation plans.

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