Improvement Method Olympics: Bronze Medal Decider

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

1. Appreciative Inquiry (methodology)

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of looking at organisational or system change that focuses on doing more of what is already working. So instead of starting with ‘what’s the problem’ and looking for fixes it starts with ‘what’s already working’ and how can we build on that?

That doesn’t mean we ignore problems; we just look at them in a different way. AI is based on the principle that a group, organisation or system will grow in the direction of whatever its people focus their attention on. By creating a space for people to share experiences of when they worked at their best, not only does it stimulate energy for change; it also builds relationships and a shared understanding of everyone’s contribution.

Appreciative inquiry - the 5D model Definition, Discovery, Delivery, Design, Dream

View the Appreciative Inquiry Resource pack from the Scottish Social Services Council and NHS Education for Scotland.

Additional resources on Appreciative Inquiry

Four Appreciative Inquiry Tools, Exercises and Activities from

Using Appreciative Inquiry with an island community in Northern Ireland by Appreciating People. Suggested by @Nardia_Joy

The Appreciative Inquiry training handbook by AGID. Suggested by @JBVISTA. Note: the link only lasts until 20th August 2021

Links to multiple articles and resources from the Cooperrider Centre, a global hub for Appreciative Inquiry. Suggested by @Charles_S_Lee

A culture of appreciation by @JeremyScrivens – ideas for creating a culture of appreciation inside your organisation

2. Statistical process control (tool)

Statistical process control (SPC) is an analytical technique that plots data over time. It helps us understand variation and in so doing guides us to take the most appropriate action. SPC is a good technique to use when implementing change as it tracks the impact of improvement interventions and enables you to understand whether changes you are making are resulting in improvement.

Example statistical process control chart from the Improvement Academy, Yorkshire and Humber

Graph showing proportion of patients in hospital at end of month who are male

Read more about statistical process control from NHS England and NHS Improvement

Additional resources for Statistical Process Control

NHS #PlottheDots resources, one and two. suggested by @jem2206

Control chart resources by IHI Open School, suggested by @AndrewBarraclo1

An introduction to the use of control charts by the NHS Institute and NHS South East Coast, suggested by @AndrewBarraclo1

Blogposts on SPC by InspGuilfoyle, one and two, suggested by @MLoebenberg

Join the NHS Making data count workspace group: Suggested by @asmith6