Organizing Tools

Project Timeline:

  • The timeline is a Gantt Chart, using lines to indicate the months you plan to complete the various phases or tasks involved in your project. This should be completed early in your project, and serves as a touchstone, keeping the momentum of the project moving forward on schedule. There are usually several Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles associated with each task. For the "type-in" version, create lines with endpoints indicating the beginning and end of a task. Use a dot to indicate tasks that will take a month or less. There is also a version that can be printed and filled out by hand.

Brainstorming Tools

Fishbone Diagram:

  • This is also known as a Cause-Effect Diagram or an Ishikawa Diagram. A Fishbone Diagram is used to organize the group's current understanding about a problem. This is a useful way to record ideas generated during a brainstorming session. This form can be printed and filled out as a group. List the problem or question you are trying to solve in the fish's "head." There are four main categories of causes coming off of the "spine" - you can use these categories, or devise your own. List possible causes on the "bones" coming off of the "spine."

Evidence Notebook Description:

  • We recommend creating an Evidence Notebook to document your QI project. This is a notebook for you to store all your information, documentation, and data regarding your efforts.
    We have attached a template for your cover and dividers.
  • All you need is:
    • A 1" to 2" view binder
    • Either: 10-tab Index Table of Contents Dividers (Avery 11135)
    • Or: Plain index tabs (Avery 11535)

PDSA Cycle Template:

  • The Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle is the framework for efficient "trial-and-learn" testing. Ideas and changes can be tested on a small scale to minimize the negative effect of a "failed" test or to facilitate rapid learning.
  • The attached form can be filled out quickly as a record of what you have tried and what results you obtained.
  • To conduct a PDSA cycle, you should:
    • PLAN - what are you going to test or change?
    • DO - carry out the plan
    • STUDY - summarize what was learned
    • ACT - determine what changes are to be made
    • Leads to the next cycle

Meeting Tools

Pro/Con Decision Matrix:

Use this tool when comparing or trying to decide between two entities (A and B). These entities can be processes, systems, ideas, options, plans, etc.

Under the "+" column of the grid, write the "pros" for each option. This can be: things that are working well, benefits/rewards, what people like about it, what you would not want to change, etc. Conversely, list the "cons" for each option in the "-" column

Please review additional QI Tools, downloads and templates at: