Not all changes lead to improvement, but all improvement requires change. The ability to develop, test and implement change is essential for any individual, group or organization that wants to achieve improve continuously.
Whatever change your team decides to tackle, make sure it's in line with regional/national goals and that it leads to improvement in at least one of the four points of the Value Compass. And remember: The member/patient is at the center of the Value Compass. The best changes and the best decisions are rooted in what's best for the member.
So what kinds of things can your team work to improve? Here are some broad areas that lend themselves to small tests of change:
The interface between the patient and the "product": Is the patient aware of an improvement in service or quality? In order for a member to benefit from such an improvement, he or she needs to recognize that improvements that have been made.
Improve workflow: Improving the flow of work in processes is an important way to improve the quality of goods and services produced by those processes.
Focus on a product or service: Improving processes is important, but don't overlook opportunities to improve products and services, too.
Optimize inventory: Inventory of any kind is a possible source of waste. Understanding where inventory is stored in a system is the first step in finding opportunities for improvement.
Eliminate waste: Look for ways to eliminate any activity or resource in the organization that does not add value to an external customer.
Target variation: Reducing variation improves the predictability of outcomes and helps reduce the frequency of poor results.
Error proofing: Redesigning systems makes it less likely that people will make errors. One way to error-proof a system is to make the information necessary to perform a task available in the external world, not just in one's memory. Write it down or make it inherent in the product or process.
Change the work environment: Changing the work environment itself can be a high-leverage opportunity for making all other process changes more effective
Manage time: Organizations gain competitive advantage by reducing the time to develop new products, waiting times for services, lead times for orders and deliveries and cycle times for all functions in the organization.
For an easy-to-print version of the information on this page, download the Selecting Changes tool.