Care by Design understands the fundamentals of organisational development, service management and leadership for the 21st century public sector organisation and communities.

An easy guide to popular tools and techniques for service improvement

For many years people all over the world have been using various tools and techniques to help them to improve their organisations, to improve their performance, to reduce costs, and to solve problems. These tools and techniques are designed to help us think clearly and help to ensure that problems get solved in the shortest possible time, with the minimum of resource and effort, and that problems stay solved permanently.

Tools and techniques are at their most powerful when they are used in support of an overall service improvement framework. A good framework usually highlights many problems in our current systems and processes, and a good set of tools and techniques will address these problems in the most effective way.

We have therefore placed our description of tools and techniques in the context of the overall improvement framework. First, we describe the whole service improvement journey, and at each step of the journey, we provide pointers to the tools and techniques that can help you there.

The process below is an overview of the improvement framework. Click on the highlighted link below to get started.

  1. Choose a specific service to improve
  2. Clarify true purpose and value
  3. Identify and measure true demand
  4. Identify and measure capacity & true capability
  5. Map the existing process
  6. Remove waste from the process
  7. Make the workflow
  8. Let the patients set the drumbeat
  9. Draw the new process map
  10. Implement the new process
  11. Continually aim to improve the process
  12. Choose another service to improve

Many, many thanks to Dave Young for his invaluable help in putting these tools together in an easy to follow web format.

Dave Young is a self-employed organisational improvement consultant. For more than 40 years he has been helping organisations to improve their performance using simple, straightforward tools and clear thinking. His work has taken him throughout the UK, into Africa and the Middle East, and he has been working with the NHS since 1996. During his career, Dave has been particularly successful thanks to his approach of applying the Lean Thinking and Statistical Process Control techniques in a wide variety of service organisations.


Published 26th November 2018