Quality Improvement — consider dangerous?

Benjamin P. Taylor
1 min readApr 21, 2021


#QualityImprovement can be dangerous.

Document attached in LinkedIn post:


Very popular in the NHS, and beyond. Very good, in context. Our clients are doing our systems-flavoured #LeadingTransformation programme, and asked me how it fits with #QI.

This isn’t new, and I constantly say: ‘but *really good* QI people look outside the box at this stuff’.

But QI should be considered dangerous.

It’s a powerful weapon if you aim it right; if you know the problem, and it’s a process problem.


Drucker: ‘There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.’

You have to look at the frame the #process fits inside — is the process meaningful?

> In Ackoff’s terms, can you *dissolve* the problem by redesigning the context?

> In the RedQuadrant five worlds, QI is in service world — you have to look out to customer world and management and leadership worlds

> In ‘seven ways to save and improve’, QI cuts waste and optimises resources — and should look at shaping demand and economies of flow.

> In the Viable Systems Model, QI works on S1 and S2, and needs to connect to the other systems

> and you need to connect to future needs, or your optimised process might be washed away.

Some examples in the document attached.

>>> What’s *your* experience?