Vanessa Lamers, MPH, MESc, is the Assistant Director of Performance Management and Quality Improvement, Public Health Foundation
Supporting achievement of your organization’s strategic goals? Managing the development of individuals, teams, and daily work? Establishing or troubleshooting projects or programs?
Quality improvement (QI) methods and tools can assist your organization in effectively managing its programs and projects, and increase its efficiency and productivity. These tools provide suggestions to assure projects are completed well, and potential derailments are avoided.
Along with common and foundational project management tools in the Public Health Quality Improvement Encyclopedia
, such as Gantt Charts (page 47) and Cause and Effect Diagrams (page 11), there are several additional QI tools that the Public Health Foundation (PHF) has created, updated, or adapted, which are specifically built for use in the public health setting.
Try some of these tools to keep your projects and programs on track:
- Action SWOT – Use identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to identify action steps. Use the Action SWOT tool and the accompanying template in conjunction with a Gantt Chart to assure alignment and documentation of responsible individuals/teams and deadlines.
- Strategy Conceptualization Tree – Translate broadly-stated needs into specific, actionable, achievable, and measurable requirements. This tool builds on Critical to Tree, which may be familiar from Six Sigma, and includes a WIC Customer Service Example.
- Idea Parking Lot Matrix - Minimize distractions and unrelated disruptions during team and stakeholder meetings with this “parking lot” for ideas. The tool includes a template to print out for meetings or draw on a board or flip chart.
- Mistake Proofing – Develop countermeasures where a mistake or defect could occur, to improve productivity and reduce work. This more advanced tool also includes an example of how to complete a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.
- Pre-Mortem Analysis – Identify vulnerabilities and potential failures in a plan in efforts to prevent them. This tool includes an example of use from the Kansas Public Health Workforce Development Coordinating Council.
See more tools to support team management, strategic planning, and more at phf.org/QItools
We hope these tools are valuable additions to your QI practice. If your organization needs support in using QI, we can help you. PHF has helped more than 500 health departments solve challenges related to QI, performance management, and workforce development. Contact Vanessa Lamers at firstname.lastname@example.org
for assistance or if you can share an example of how these or other PHF tools have been used in your organization.