What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen?

in COVID-19, Systems, Tools & Methods

By David M Williams, PhD Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash I’m not the best at small talk. A closet introvert, I’m not the first one to start a conversation. That doesn’t mean I don’t like meeting new people, getting to know them, or going to parties. In Steve Harper’s book The Ripple Effect, when […]

Lowering the Water Level

in COVID-19, Tools & Methods

By David M Williams, PhD Photo by Abel’s Shots on Unsplash   “Two boxes of mac & cheese, four packs of Nutella & Go, six Cliff Bars…..Dad, these anchovies expired in 2017,” my son Nate called out as he inventoried our pantry and refrigerator and tossed out what was expired. As the stay-at-home order hit […]

Single and Double Loop Learning

in Improvement Science, Knowledge, PDSA

By David M. Williams, PhD Simulation is a powerful method for teaching new improvers how to learn and use the plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycle to test changes. In addition to the Mr. Potato Head and the Coin Spin PDSA exercises, there are a host of other worthwhile options like the sequence exercise. You […]

2020 New Year Review

in Uncategorized

By David M. Williams, PhD Photo: Marco Verch Happy New Year! The transition from one year to the next always feels like a great time to reset. The end of the year can be hectic as you wrap up work — preparing for the holidays and travel just add to the stress. For our house, […]

Tracking Project Progress

in Measurement, Tools & Methods

By David M. Williams, Ph.D. Improvement projects follow a trajectory from forming a team and chartering through achieving sustainable results. Whether leading a single project or monitoring a portfolio, having a strategy for gauging project progress is useful in identifying projects that are stuck and in supporting movement forward.  One useful tool the Institute for […]

Selecting an Ideal Improvement Project

in Tools & Methods

By David M. Williams, Ph.D. There are many types of activities that are labeled “projects,” but not all are “improvement projects” aimed at changing the underlying process or system to get a different measurable result. Other projects may not be ideal for a host of reasons. It’s common for novice improvers to have trouble picking […]

Is the I Chart the only Shewhart SPC chart I really need?

in Measurement

by David M. Williams, Ph.D. This is part of a series of blog posts on measurement for improvement. You can read them all here. Many authors and consultants join me in arguing for collecting data over time and displaying it in a time series chart like a run chart. Some also advocate for the added […]