Working Backward from the Customer

in Improvement Science, Systems, Tools & Methods

by David M. Williams, Ph.D. I love barbeque. Texas is known for our love of the craft and everyone has a favorite place. Ruby’s BBQ is a franchise operated locally in Austin by K & N Management. In 2010, they became the second restaurant to be awarded the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Excellence. While teaching at […]

Prioritizing Improvement Efforts

in Improvement Science, Knowledge, Quality as a Business Strategy (QBS), Systems, Tools & Methods

By David M. Williams, Ph.D. Making changes to a process is essential to improvement. Improvement efforts require chartering projects that will impact strategic processes requiring design or redesign. Organizations routinely struggle with selecting processes needing improvement and that will achieve the organization’s objectives. What follows is a structured process, using qualitative methods, to support selecting […]

Drilling Down into Aggregate Data

in Improvement Science, Measurement, Quality as a Business Strategy (QBS), Tools & Methods, Variation

By David M. Williams, Ph.D. Every organization tracks a family of measures with data from various moments of time. The list of indicators often blend measures created by leadership with a mix of from other sources like accreditation bodies, regulators, and benchmarking vendors. These data are usually at an aggregate level or minimally stratified by […]

Back-of-the-Envelope Problem Solving

in Education, Implementation, Improvement Science, PDSA, Systems, Tools & Methods

By David M. Williams, Ph.D. The Breakthrough Series Collaborative model is an improvement learning system that brings teams together to pursue a shared aim. Teams use an evidence-based change theory and improvement methods including the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Cycle and time-series data (run charts and Shewhart Control Charts). In the Institute for Healthcare […]

Problem-Solving by Learning From the Process

in Improvement Science, Knowledge, Systems, Tools & Methods, Variation

By David M. Williams, Ph.D. Photo by Bluehouse Skis on Unsplash Let’s face it…patient care documentation is not the most enjoyable aspect of clinical care delivery. It takes time, the electronic medical record isn’t user friendly, and caregivers have a lot going on. It’s no surprise improving clinical documentation is a common improvement opportunity for a […]