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Improving Improvement

A toolkit for Engineering Better Care


Develop the Solution

The solution describes a way of solving a particular problem within a system and all the elements of change necessary to improve the system.




The need to Develop the Solution is the third of the seven strands in the improvement model. It underlines the importance of developing the solution for the system to be improved, following understanding the system and defining the problem, and as a precursor to collecting the evidence. As a result, it is expected that such a solution will be developed in the intermediate stages of the improvement process and revised, as appropriate, as the process develops.


Developing the solution has direct importance to systems improvement: considering pre-existing solutions; identifying, filtering and developing solution concepts; and making models to evaluate potential ideas for improvement.


The process of developing the solution may include a wide range of activities including, but not limited to: Consider Pre-existing Solutions, Stimulate Ideas, Filter Ideas, Develop Concepts and Make Models.

In the Initiate and Understand stages of the improvement process, a preliminary activity, Describe the Big Idea, provides a useful starting point. It may also be relevant for the Co-design, Delivery and Sustain stages, where the context should be reviewed and updated to support the changing priorities of the latter stages of the improvement process.

More detail on each of these activities is given in the Develop the Solution part of the Activities section (within Resources)


The practice of developing the solution may draw on a wide range of tools including, but not limited to: Storyboarding, Brainstorming, Disney, Six Thinking Hats and Morphological Chart.

More detail on each of these activities is given in the Develop the Solution part of the Tools section (within Resources)

Use the Questions Map poster to identify the key questions that would help to deliver the outputs required.

Alternatively, use the Stage Activities poster to identify the improvement activities that would help deliver the outputs required.


Possible Activities which may help to develop the solution.


Possible Tools which may help to develop the solution.


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