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Improving Improvement

A toolkit for Engineering Better Care


Improvement Stage Guides

The improvement stage guides have been designed to provide minimum, direct guidance on the questions, activities and tools that might be useful at each particular stage of the improvement process:

  • Initiate Stage Guide — leading to an outline description of the current system (now), a preliminary understanding of the problem, a view of what the future system might look like (better) and a viable plan for initiating an improvement process.
  • Understand Stage Guide — leading to a detailed description of the current system (now), a common understanding of the problem, a consensus view of what the future system might look like (better) and a clearly articulated case for changing the system.
  • Co-design Stage Guide — leading to a clear description of the future system, based on the iterative design of the system architecture with its elements and interfaces, the evaluation through successive prototyping of its likely behaviour, and a plan for its delivery.
  • Deliver Stage Guide — leading to the successful deployment of the new system with the levels of measurement necessary to evidence its success, and acceptance that it achieves appropriate value for its stakeholders.
  • Sustain Stage Guide — leading to the continued operational success of the new system along with consideration of further improvement potential or wider deployment.

In addition, there is a general Quick Start Guide to the improvement process leading to a viable plan for a single stage or the whole improvement process.

Furthermore, the Improvement Summary provides a simple introduction to a systems approach, and the Improvement Activities offers a number of potential improvement activities.

Printable PDFs of Stage Guides are also available.

Each guide identifies deliverables that are essential early in the stage and also those that might be delivered by the end of the stage, providing the basis for a stage-gate review.


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