Page 0013

How do we Measure the Improvement Produced by

our Small Scale Test of Change?

The system can only hope to improve what it measures. For many

improvement projects, an annotated run chart is all that is needed

to learn whether the changes made have led to an improvement

in the measure of interest. If the changes have led to a new level

of system performance, the run chart will provide the evidence

required to claim an improvement1.

Why do we use run charts?

• To show how well a process is performing

• They help determine over time when changes are truly

improvements by displaying a pattern of data that you can

observe as you make changes.

Typically we use run charts such as this:

In some cases, however, the run chart is not clear and a Shewhart

chart can be useful in clarifying if a meaningful change has

occurred. The limits on the Shewart chart allow the detection of a

special cause with just one data point. While the rules on the run

chart are probability based, the limits and rules associated with

Shewart charts are economical and empirically based1.

1Source: IHI Open School QI104 Lesson 2

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