Public Health and QI Toolbox - Minnesota Dept. of Heath

Public Health and QI Toolbox

Public Health and Quality Improvement
Resources & Tools

Use the tools below to help guide program activities from start to finish.

You can also find the contents of the Public Health & QI Toolbox in the navigation menu to your left, under "Choose a Tool."


Quality Improvement and Performance Management Tools

  • Affinity Diagram: Brainstorm and organize ideas by commonalities
  • Aim Statement: Describe expected accomplishments in a written, measurable, and time-specific way
  • Brainstorming: Creatively and effectively generate a high volume of ideas, without judgment
  • Fishbone Diagram: Narrow down root causes to problems (also called Cause & Effect Diagram)
  • Charter for QI Projects: Help your team maintain its goals, scope, and deliverables during the course of a QI project
  • Check Sheet: Record and compile data from archives or observations, to detect trends or patterns
  • Control Chart: Monitor, control, and improve process performance over time by studying variation and its source
  • Flowchart: Identify the steps and sequence of events in a process, to minimize duplication, address problem areas, and standardize work
  • Force Field Analysis: Investigate the balance of power in resolving an issue by pitting a situation's pros and cons against each other
  • Gantt Chart: Schedule a project's activities to show the most efficient way of organizing/sequencing activities, to maximize output in the shortest reasonable time
  • Interrelationship Digraph: Identify and analyze relationships among critical factors that impact an issue, to hone in on key drivers and outcomes
  • Lean: Identify and eliminate waste and standardize work processes with this customer-focused process improvement methodology
  • Kaizen: Examine wait time, duplicative work, and other waste with this facilitated group effort; you can also map current process and desired future process, and create plans to move from one to the other
  • Logic Model: Illustrate how a project, program, or policy is understood and intended to produce particular results (also called Line of Sight Model)
  • Multivoting: Come to a consensus based on the relative importance of issues or solutions (also called Nominal Group Technique)
  • Objectives: Ensure objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
    Relevant, and Timely; and are tied to goals and benchmarks
  • Pareto Chart: Shows relative frequency or size of problems, to find those that offer the greatest potential for improvement
  • PDSA: Plan-Do-Study-Act: Improve process or carry out change with four-stage, iterative model (Also called Rapid Cycle Improvement or Plan-Do-Check-Act [PDCA])
  • Prioritization Matrix: Systematically compare choices by selecting, weighing, and applying criteria, to ultimately narrow choices
  • Swim Lane Map: Map out processes, decisions, and loops to delineate who's responsible for parts of a processes, and where redundancies occur (also called Process Flow Diagram)
  • Quality Planning: Design a process that can meet established goals under operating conditions
  • Radar Chart: Shows the gap between current and optimal performance for multiple factors related to performance
  • Run Chart: Tracks data over time to identify trends or patterns
  • Scatter Plot: Identifies the possible relationship between changes observed in two different sets of variables
  • Storyboard: Highlight and present key aspects of a quality improvement effort by documenting the project from beginning to end
  • Tree Diagram: Link goals and subgoals to activities

Assessment and Planning Tools

  • Affinity Diagram: Brainstorm and organize ideas by commonalities
  • Brainstorming: Creatively and effectively generate a high volume of ideas, without judgment
  • Fishbone Diagram: Narrow down root causes to problems (also called Cause & Effect Diagram)
  • Focused Conversation: Enable individuals and groups to process their thoughts in an orderly manner
  • Interrelationship Digraph: Identify and analyze relationships among critical factors that impact an issue, to hone in on key drivers and outcomes
  • Objectives: Ensure objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
    Relevant, and Timely; and are tied to goals and benchmarks
  • Prioritization Matrix: Systematically compare choices by selecting, weighing, and applying criteria, to ultimately narrow choices
  • Quality Planning: Design a process that can meet established goals under operating conditions
  • Social/Organizational Network Analysis: Assess the informal staff relationships in an organization, to see how work truly happens and to build stronger teams using pre-existing relationships
  • SWOT Diagram: (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) Analyze internal and external factors that might contribute to success, or negatively impact work

Project Management Tools

Project Management Tools: Download templates for your team to use during your project.

  • Aim Statement: Describe expected accomplishments in a written, measurable, and time-specific way
  • Charter for QI Projects: Help your team maintain its goals, scope, and deliverables during the course of a QI project
  • Flowchart: Identify the steps and sequence of events in a process, to minimize duplication, address problem areas, and standardize work
  • Gantt Chart: Schedule a project's activities to show the most efficient way of organizing/sequencing activities, to maximize output in the shortest reasonable time
  • Objectives: Ensure objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
    Relevant, and Timely; and are tied to goals and benchmarks
  • SWOT Diagram: (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) Analyze internal and external factors that might contribute to success, or negatively impact work
  • Tree Diagram: Link goals and subgoals to activities

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Tools

  • Affinity Diagram: Brainstorm and organize ideas by commonalities
  • Brainstorming: Creatively and effectively generate a high volume of ideas, without judgment
  • Focused Conversation: Enable individuals and groups to process their thoughts in an orderly manner
  • Multivoting: Come to a consensus based on the relative importance of issues or solutions (also called Nominal Group Technique)
  • Social/Organizational Network Analysis: Assess the informal staff relationships in an organization, to see how work truly happens and to build stronger teams using pre-existing relationships
  • SWOT Diagram: (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) Analyze internal and external factors that might contribute to success, or negatively impact work