Improvement Methodologies


3. Getting Started: Improvement Methodologies

What is it and how will it help?

Evidence-based improvement methodology provides a "game plan" to ensure changes are delivered in a planned, proven way that follows established methods. A range of proven methodologies are available to support different kinds of change, with a particular emphasis on large-scale change across systems rather than just process improvement. The main models are IHI Model for Improvement, Lean, Six Sigma, NHS Change Model, and A3 Thinking.


Need more information?

Lean. A philosophy and set of tools and techniques which focus on providing the best product to the customer by identifying value and eliminating wasteful and harmful activities. Learn more about Lean >
Six Sigma. Tools and techniques for eliminating waste by carefully controlling any variables that might make a process unstable and unpredictable. Learn more about Six Sigma > 

The IHI Model for Improvement asks three questions:

  • "What are you trying to achieve?"
  • "How will you know a change is an improvement?"
  • "What changes can we make?’

The ideas are then tested out using PDSA cycles. Learn more about the IHI Model for Improvement >

NHS Change Model. Developed for the UK and combines many of the techniques of Lean and the IHI Model for Improvement, but with more focus on change management and organizational change. Learn more about NHS Change Model >
A3 Thinking. A systematic process of problem solving that ensures problems are identified, the current state is explored and understood, and results and next steps are recorded and monitored. Learn more about A3 Thinking >