Test Change Ideas

TEST, TEST, TEST before you implement any change ideas on a large scale.  Due to potential staff resistance, it's important to test changes on a small scale (e.g., one person, one form, one provider, one session, etc.) and under different circumstances before implementing the changes.  To do this, use the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle to help plan and carry out small tests for each change.  As you test your changes, remember: 

  • Scale down the time period for testing --if you were originally thinking of testing for a month, think about weeks or days; if you were thinking about testing for days, think about hours or several clients/staff
  • Include feedback from customers and staff when developing the tests of change
  • Involve all stakeholders and inform staff that may be affected by the tests
  • Test with volunteers or a "friendly audience" first
  • Identify ways to collect useful data during each test to determine if it works and how it should be tweaked (e.g., observations and qualitative data from customers/staff implementing the change)
  • Learn from failures as well as successes (Think about:  Why didn't the change work? Was the test conducted well? Does the change tested need to be modified?)
  • Test over a wide range of conditions prior to implementing and spreading (e.g. , on busy days, with different staff, etc.)


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PDSA Cycle Template

PDSA Cycle Example


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