Starting a QI Project

Can you identify an area for improvement? The steps below will help take you from an initial idea or concern, all the way to running your improvement project.

Starting a QI project - 4 step process v3


Step 1 – Identify a quality issue that you want to focus on and start to think about how you could take this forward as a QI project

Thinking about QI issue v3


Do some provisional thinking about what your answers to these questions might be. You might get as far as thinking about an aim for a QI project, who might be in your project team, and how to involve your customers in the project (service users, carers or representatives from local directorates if you work in Corporate Services)

Use our Quality and Performance Dashboards to see the data on your service and across the Trust. To help you think about ways to get Service Users and Carers involved please find guidance here.

Download the below form to help you and the team think through your project proposal and gather ideas before sharing them with a Sponsor or Coach. You can learn more about the various QI roles and support for your QI project here>>

Identifying a quality issue

Identifying a quality issue

Step 2 – Share your idea with a QI Sponsor or Coach and take to a QI Forum

After some of this initial thinking you should discuss your project idea with a QI Coach or Sponsor. At this point Coaches and Sponsors can help you decide if your project idea fits with local Directorate priorities and what components you will need in place for a successful project. They will QI Forumsalso help you prepare the project idea for your local QI Forum where QI project approval is given.

QI Forums happen every month in all Trust Directorates, they are an opportunity for Project Leads, Coaches, Sponsors, Clinical and Service Directors and Service Users and Carers to come together and support local QI work and decide on priorities for improvement in the Directorate.

If your project is given the go ahead at the Forum, you will be allocated a QI Coach and Sponsor who will be there to support you for the lifetime of your project. To find out more about QI Coaches and who they are across each Directorate click here>>


Step 3 – Finalise the project charter with your team and allocated QI Coach

QI coaches

Once your QI Project has been given the go ahead at your Directorate’s QI Forum you need to finalise everthing with your project team. We recommend that  a QI project team should consist of 5-8 people from different disciplines, with different levels of experience, who are affected by the problem and can commit to meet regularly. You should include someone in the team who can make things happen, like a Ward Manager, Team Leader or Consultant.

Ideally a customer (service user, carer or representative from local directorates, if you work in Corporate services) should be part of the project team. In terms of service user and carer involvement, this may not always be easy, but we need to find a way for the patient and family voice to be integral to the improvement work. Be creative about ways of achieving this, or get in contact with us for ideas. Click here for guidance>>

As you finalise your project idea with the team you should link up with the QI Coach allocated to your project at the Directorate QI Forum. QI Coaches support teams to develop ideas and strategy, establish the project Aim Statement, introduce the team to useful QI tools, and advise on on how to complete project documentation.

In the early stages of your project these electronic documents will be a project charter and driver diagram on QI Life. In later stages of the project they will help you with other aspects of QI methodology such as PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) cycles and using data over time.

Use the Model for Improvement, our project charter and driver diagram templates to help you and the team think through your project and when you’re ready please register the new project to QI Life.


Step 4 – Submit your project on QI Life and get going!QILife - Logo - 01 - ELFT001

QI Life is our online home for QI projects at ELFT and will be your main workspace for the project. You must register your project on QI Life so please sign up for your account here.  Please find some guidance videos on setting up an account and registering a project below

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After you have fully planned the project out with your project team and coach then you can finalise your project charter and add your driver diagram on QI Life.

Alongside your driver diagram you can also add change ideas for the projects, measures and perhaps plan our your first PDSA cycle for testing.  To learn how to use the QI Life platform please visit this page and watch some of our instructional videos below.

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Once you have completed these steps your project you are all set! Use QI Life throughout the project lifecycle and learn about improvement projects happening across the Trust and beyond.

Here are just some of the ways QI Life can help with your project…

QI Life Screenshots

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