Being a Life QI 'Guru' is a key role within your organisation - your colleagues will look to you for support and guidance on running their QI projects in Life QI.
This training guide is aimed at staff working with a range of project teams to help guide their improvement work and will equip you with the knowledge that you require to manage and coach projects that are being run in Life QI. This guide will take you through:
- What it means to be a Life QI Guru
- Techniques for introducing Life QI to colleagues
- How to coach a project team
- How to review multiple projects
Being a Life QI Guru
Life QI Gurus act as 'super users' for your organisation and will naturally take on a coaching and training role for other staff wishing to use Life QI. Being a Guru will often be a natural extension of your existing QI responsibilities. For example your day job may be a QI Coach, Improvement Advisor, QI Lead or QI Facilitator.
Depending on the scale of QI at your organisation it may be sensible to develop a network of Life QI Gurus spread across the organisation, each playing the role of Guru for their Division/Departments. This approach makes it easy for staff to know who to turn to for advice on using Life QI.
Introducing Life QI to colleagues
As a Guru you will play a pivotal role in introducing Life QI to colleagues. This introduction is typically done in two ways:
- Project-based adoption of Life QI - staff are introduced to Life QI as they start a new QI project.
- Training-based adoption of Life QI - staff are introduced to Life QI as they participate in a QI training programme.
It is helpful to be clear on which approach you will use, or what combination of these approaches, as this will impact the speed of uptake and the demand placed on Life QI Gurus.
When introducing staff to Life QI focus just on what they need to know to get started with the project tasks at hand. They don't need to know everything all at once; a gradual introduction as they progress through their project will generally lead to the best engagement. However you chose to introduce Life QI to colleagues, be sure to make them aware of the the Life QI Help Centre as it contains a wealth of material (over 100 articles) on how to use all aspects of the platform and will allow them to self-learn as their needs dictate.
Coaching a project
Encouraging whole team participation
Life QI is designed as a workspace for teams to come together and run their projects. So part of your role as a Guru is to encourage whole team participation as this will lead to better team collaboration and ultimately better project results.
With all the project information in Life QI, team members need to be able to access the project to keep up to date with what's going on and have the option to contribute - whether that's a PDSA cycle, data in a chart or a comment in a discussion thread. So when coaching a project, look at who is listed as the team members and what roles they have been assigned - is anyone missing that is needed to make this project a success? Team sizes will vary, but one person does not make a team!
Reviewing project activity
The project timeline is a vital resource for reviewing activity on the project. It provides an automatically generated thread of key actions as they happen and records who took each action. So you can easily review when team members are added, measures and PDSAs are created, status updates are left and progress scores are changed.
The timeline is shown in the panel on the right side of the project and is the icon that looks like a bullet-point list. You can also review the timeline in calendar mode by clicking the Calendar button that appears of the top of the timeline when expanded.
Reviewing project progress
Each project in Life QI has a progress score that provides a common means of communicating overall progress towards the projects aim. The progress score scale was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and is explained in this learning article: Project Progress Score Scale.
Read about how to set and update project progress scores.
It is key that these scores are kept up to date on all projects to provide an accurate record of the progress of the project. This score will be used by the organisation to judge the progress being made.
When reviewing a project look to see if the score shown reflects the level and results of the content shown within the project. Does the score need updating? Look at the timeline - when was the score last updated?
You may wish to use Analytics dashboards to track metrics like - the number of projects that have progressed in the last 30 days, or - the number of projects that have not progressed in the last 90 days. Such metrics will automatically capture projects that meet these criteria and highlight them for your attention. For guidance on how to setup such metrics, please contact your Success Manager of the Life QI support team.
Within the project timeline feature you can leave status updates to describe the progress being made. It is advisable to encourage the project team to regularly leave status updates to keep the rest of the team up to date, but also to ensure others across the organisation understand the progress being made. Many organisations will review these status updates as part of their routine QI project monitoring (reviewing what the update says and when it was recorded) so along with the project progress score they are vital to accurate monitoring information.
Discussions are a great way of collaborating around a project. Encourage the project team to use them to debate and share information amongst themselves. When coaching a team you may also wish to create a coaching specific discussion thread on the project so you can liaise with team, providing feedback and seeking their insight on project developments.
Read about creating and using discussion threads.
Reviewing multiple projects
With responsibility for coaching/advising multiple project teams you need quick access to key information from multiple projects, without having to trawl through the detailed contents of every project in your portfolio. This is where filtering lists and using groups and analytics dashboards will save you time and provide powerful insights.
Filtering the project list
There are a powerful set of filters that can be used to target the project list to show just the projects that meet the criteria you are interested in reviewing. For example, filter the list to show:
- Projects within your Division
- Projects that have started in the last 7 days
- Projects that have progressed (updated their progress score) in the last 30 days
- Projects that have not progressed (no change in progress score) in the last 90 days
Filtering to show these sorts of projects is simple with a few clicks of the project list filters. Read about using the project list filters.
Once you have filtered the list to show the projects you are interested in you can simply click into each project to review it in more detail, or you could run off a report containing information on all the projects in the list using the Actions button to select the appropriate report type. Read more about running a list report.
Groups are an essential means of organising projects by the part of the organisation that are linked to (e.g. Division or Department), the subject matter (e.g. a Sepsis workstream), or who is running them (e.g. a training cohort). The most common set of groups are those based on the organisation structure (e.g. Divisions or Departments).
Well organised groups with Gurus assigned to each makes managing a large portfolio of improvement work very manageable. With each Guru assigned a subset of the groups they can focus in on the projects and teams in those groups providing targeted coaching and support needed.
As well as using the Group profile pages to access these projects you can also gain crucial insights from analytics dashboards focused on reporting on your group's projects ...
Analytics dashboards are a powerful mechanism for providing real-time insights into the level and impact of the improvement work taking place across the organisation. They can be setup to target insights into all projects within the organisation or useful subsets of the projects taking place. Some useful groupings to consider for dashboards include:
- A dashboard for each Division or Directorate within the organisation
- A dashboard for each training cohort
- A dashboard for each themed workstream (e.g. all Sepsis projects)
Dashboards are populated with metrics and charts that will provide information on the metrics that are important to you. Read about Analytics dashboards.
For further advice on how to make the most of Life QI at your organisation, feel free to reach out to your Life QI Success Manager or the Life QI support team on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help 😀