Stage 1: Building your project team

Improvement requires a team approach and the team needs to work together effectively to deliver change. Key roles in a project team should include:

  • a lead to co-ordinate the project and facilitate the team
  • service leads (clinical and non-clinical) who have the authority to change processes
  • a data analyst to provide support accessing and interpreting data, and
  • a quality improvement practitioner such as a team member with QI training or experience being part of a QI project.

In addition to your project team, it is also good practice to have a sponsor to provide support from a senior management level to help overcome challenges you may encounter within the wider organisation.

1.1 Working as a team

The project team should agree how they will work together and communicate regularly for the duration of the project. When agreeing how to work together you should consider:

  • Can you use time in existing meetings to discuss the project?
  • Do you always need to meet in person, or can you meet virtually?
  • How often will you need to meet (normally between every two to four weeks)?
  • Would a Microsoft teams channel help the project team communicate regularly?
  • Where are you going to save documents to ensure all team members can access them?
  • Reviewing guidance to help with team facilitation and running effective meetings from the QI Zone.

1.2 Setting an aim

Setting an aim and agreeing the scope of the work in the beginning can help keep the team focused on delivery. When setting the aim you should consider:

  • How widely are you going to implement Maximising Service Capacity and Capability? For example, are you going to focus on a specialty within one hospital or a specialty across all hospitals within your health board?  If you plan to implement across multiple sites you will need at least one person from each site in the project team.
  • When do you plan to have implemented Maximising Service Capacity and Capability? Full implementation can take between six and 12 months.
  • Setting an aim that uses STAN (Specific, Timebound, and Aligned to the NHS board’s objectives and Numeric).  For example, "By end of April 2022 Maximising Service Capacity and Capability has been implemented in X across all three sites in NHS Spey Valley to sustainably manage clinical capacity to meet demand."
  • It is okay for the aim to be high-level and a little vague at beginning as you can refine it to make it more specific at a later stage.

1.3 Tracking actions

Projects generate actions which can be easily lost, causing delays in the project if they are not completed. The team should share a single project plan to track actions for discussion at project meetings. The action tracker template can help teams track and managing actions.

1.4 Project Charter

Decisions on aims and objectives and how the team work together can be captured in the Maximising Service Capacity and Capability project charter. A project charter will help maintain a sense of purpose for the team, demonstrate to leaders the value of the project and provide clarity on roles and responsibilities.