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 […]

What about qualitative data?

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. A core component of improvement work is understanding and learning from data. This can be new to many, and for some a little intimidating. One common assumption is that all data […]

When can I change my centerline and limits?

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. When you create a run chart or a Shewhart chart with baseline data, you can “freeze” the centerline and extend it into the future. Shewhart charts that have equal subgroup size […]

Signals and Special Cause: What are the rules?

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. A core pillar of the science of improvement is understanding variation. We use data to learn about a system or process and to know whether our changes are resulting in improvement. […]

How many data points do I 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. One of the most common questions for a new improver to ask is: How many data points do I need to start a chart? The answer is just 1. Starting with […]

No judgment. Measurement for improvement.

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. The primary purpose of measurement for accountability is confirmation if a measure meets or does not meet the established target. These measures are common in social systems. Examples include: Targets to […]