Scale up & spreading improvements

Most of the time your rapid test of change idea will be limited to a small area within a larger team or service – it is difficult to try something out rapidly if large numbers of people are involved.

However, once you have tested a solution through a series of PDSA cycles and you are happy that it is stable and delivering the results that you require, it is vital that you ‘scale up’ and get this solution in place everywhere else that the same activity / process is in operation.

This is probably the point in the project where you will really draw upon the project sponsor to help you, especially if you need to cross team or service boundaries and these are outside of your span of control.

The thing to remember about scale up is that you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. You will need to demonstrate the problem that you overcame and the benefits that you are deriving from the improvement. 

One of the best ways to do this is to get the people who are operating in the new way to help you to ‘sell’ the idea to their colleagues in other teams.

Enable them to show how and why the new way is better and facilitate colleagues being able to ‘go see’ for themselves so it is not just a report or vague description of why things are better, they can actually see it for themselves.

Managers associated with the work have a responsibility to ensure that good ideas are spread so make sure that you are able to show them the positive benefits as well, again leveraging the positional power of your sponsor to make this happen.

Every situation will be different, so it is difficult to prescribe exactly what you will need to do, but the continuous improvement team are here to give some advice on this, so please get in touch.