By this stage, you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and the beginnings of a plan for how to achieve it. You will have identified some ideas for changes to make and prioritised where to start with your first PDSA cycle. So, what now? You may recall that at the start of this module, we stressed that Quality Improvement is everyone’s business: we all have a role to play in ensuring quality is maintained, and we all need a helping hand to make improvement happen. So, in this section, we will look at understanding who we need to work with, and why, and how we can make sure we all stay on track with moving the work forwards.
In any improvement work there will be a number of people who are somehow affected by, can influence, or are more directly involved in the success of your project. These are our stakeholders. Making sure you have identified them all early on will help you work with them effectively.
Sarah does a brain dump of all the people who are affected by or involved in her idea to reduce medication errors. Some of them are directly involved, some are affected by her work on medication errors.
Click the boxes to see why she includes them.
[FLIPCARDS – Stakeholder mapping first two slides]
You are likely to come up with quite a list of people who are affected by influence and are involved in the work you want to do. It’s important to take time to identify them all, because missing someone essential could create resentment or undermine your success, or you might miss someone who could really help you move things forward.
Of course, people’s level of involvement will be varied, and you won’t need to engage them all in the same way or to the same degree. So, once you have identified your stakeholders, you need to decide how important they are to your project and how much time and effort you need to put in to working with them.
One way to do this is using a tool called a Stakeholder Analysis Matrix.
[VIDEO – Stakeholder mapping]
Sarah maps her stakeholders using this process. Click on each stakeholder to see why she placed them the way she did.
[IMAGE – Sarah’s stakeholder map – Slide 6 on stakeholder ppt use purple dots to show applicable notes in notes section on ppt.]
She also takes some time to think about how she can manage these stakeholders differently.
[IMAGE – Slide 7 blue stakeholder map]
Once you have a plan for your stakeholder engagement, you know where you are going, and you have some ideas to implement and measure you are well on the way to a successful project. Of course, we all start our projects with plenty of enthusiasm and ideas, but with busy day jobs and lots of other priorities it can be easy to lose track and find that things have slipped.
We are ending this section with some simple tips to help you keep on track so that your project succeeds. The main things to remember are:
Tip 1: Make it visible
Sarah created an information board and displayed days without errors. It was really visible to everyone on the team. If you can make your project visible, it is more likely to retain people’s interest and involvement.
What can you do to make your project visible and relevant to the people you need to engage?
Tip 2: Have a plan
Even a simple improvement project often turns out to be more complicated than we first thought. Taking some time to develop a step by step plan will make sure you don’t miss out important steps and helps you tackle those small steps one by one.
There is more information on planning using the Sticky Steps method developed by Eddie Obeng, an organizational theorist, author, and educator here: https://pipdecks.com/pages/sticky-steps
Tip 3: Hold yourself and others to account
Even with the best plans, things can go awry so it is important to keep on top of who is doing what, and by when.
Once you have your plan with the steps that need to be completed, try using an action list to keep track. If you break it down into small steps, and meet regularly, you won’t need long to move through the list each time and things will start to progress more quickly.
[IMAGE – Slide 8 Making an action plan pdf to display and download]
And don’t forget to make your progress visible! Display your progress so that others stay interested and so that you can see how far you have come. One step at a time will get you there… Good luck!