Who should attend
This 2 day programme is intended for those who wish to acquire skills in solving difficult problems.
This course is suitable for decision makers, managers, professionals in technical and other domains as well as those working within transformation functions, including innovation teams and quality improvement teams.
This is an intensive, intermediate course. Participants with some prior years of experience working with different functional teams in an organization will benefit more from the course. However, no specific technical or management skills are required.
For the healthcare version of this course [NICF-Systems Thinking & Root Cause Analysis (SF) for Health Services] comprises one of five modules making up the NUS Professional Diploma in Smart Health Leadership. It is applicable to anyone working within healthcare or social care services.
About the course
The course has two versions – a special healthcare version, and a normal default version for all industry sectors. The details of the two versions are described below.
Version for all industries:
When we have difficult digitalisation problems to solve, it pays to have good frameworks and methods to allow the problem to be worked through systematically and successfully. For example, techniques to cater to
- Complicated problems such as
- tough technical problems (e.g. a mission critical system is down) where experts have difficulty finding the root cause
- Complex problems such as
- improving an organisation for which its mission-critical digital services fail repeatedly over time, and the organisation is not able to improve and minimise such incidents
- methods to handle an environment that is VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) such as to achieve digital transformation and/or create successful new digital services in spite of the VUCA environment or market
- analysing and creating or improving a complex stakeholder ecosystem for a digital service
- Chaotic problems such as
- Major incidents, disasters or crisis causing significant chaos to the organisation and its digital services
This course will provide systems thinking and root cause analysis skills to cater to the above. Techniques covered will include data-hypothesis cycle for complicated problems; analysis and change of systems behaviour (e.g. via System Archetypes, causal loop mapping and ecosystem analysis and design); analysis and change of people behaviour (e.g. via understanding and changing mental models, understanding and working with cognitive biases, allies and adversaries analysis and approach); framework approaches to complicated, complex and chaotic problems and how these are manifested in techniques such as Sense-making, Lean Startup and Design Thinking as well as in other techniques. Workshops will allow the participants to gain the skills in relevant approaches.
Health Services Version:
For practitioners working in healthcare or social care, the specially tailored ‘Systems Thinking and Root Cause Analysis for Health Services’ version of this course will be most relevant. The course will teach the tools and strategies to help inform decision making in complex situations and especially help participants grapple with the unique challenges associated with care settings. The health services course includes application of tools and strategies to integrated care models as well as mapping different decision-making domains to the macro, meso and micro levels of healthcare systems. The course is designed to support participants in framing their challenges within the macro level of the system, and scoping their solutions down to meso or micro levels. ‘Systems Thinking and Root Cause Analysis for Health Services’ is offered as a standalone course. It is also one of the five stackable training courses that make up the NUS Professional Diploma in Smart Health Leadership. Upon completion of all five stackable training courses, participants are expected to undertake a capstone project in order to achieve the Professional Diploma award.
At the end of the course, the participants will be able to:
- Understand the importance, and key principles, of systems thinking for organisational decision making
- Devise appropriate solutions to delivery challenges, based on systems thinking research, analysis, and sense making
- Understand the importance of, and opportunities for, stakeholder engagement through the systems thinking process
- Determine when and how to apply a variety of systems thinking tools, templates, frameworks and checklists
- Apply relevant techniques to find the root cause of an incident and to generate ideas for preventive measures to avoid the recurrence of the incident
What Will Be Covered
The course has two versions. The default version caters to generic digitalisation issues in organisations. On a periodic basis, a special version for the healthcare sector is also run. Please see below for the specific content covered in the two courses.
Version for all industries:
This course will cover:
- Introduction - Difficult Problems and the need for Systems Thinking & Root Cause Analysis
- Framework to analyse problems into relevant categories (Complicated, Complex, Chaotic) so as to apply appropriate approaches
- Complicated problems
- Examples of complicated problems
- Techniques to cater to complicated problems (e.g. objective problem specification, data-hypothesis cycle for complicated problems and supplementary techniques, role of workarounds)
- Complex problems
- Examples of complex problems
- Techniques to cater to complex problems
- Analysis and change of system behaviour (e.g. via System Archetypes, causal loop mapping and ecosystem analysis and design)
- Analysis and change of people behaviour (e.g. via understanding and changing mental models, understanding and working with cognitive biases, allies and adversaries analysis and approach)
- Approaches to complex problems and how approach is manifested in techniques such as Sense-making, Lean Startup and Design Thinking
- Chaotic problems
- Examples of chaotic problems
- Techniques to cater to chaotic problems (e.g. role of leadership and principles, effective use of delegation with sense-making and triage in chaotic situations, organising and preparing for chaos)
- Disorder (problem that combines 2 or more of the above)
- Examples and techniques
Health Services Version:
The ‘Systems Thinking and Root Cause Analysis for Health Services’ course addresses systems thinking and root cause analysis concepts and techniques specific to healthcare or social care:
- Dartmouth Clinical Microsystems
- Understanding the relevance of the Cynefin Framework in the context of the macro, meso, and micro clinical systems framework
- Mapping decision making tools and strategies to the Cynefin Framework and the Dartmouth clinical microsystem framework
- Value Stream Mapping
- Understanding the different stakeholder perceptions of value for touchpoints and processes within health service delivery to better inform decision making and solutioning
- Patient value compass to inform value mapping activities
- Clinical Logic Model
- Connecting the dots between desired impacts and outcomes to inform design of solutions
- Driver Diagrams
- Understanding the relationships between primary and secondary drivers and goals in health service delivery
- Determining measures that can help monitor progress towards achieving goals
- Demonstrating the logic of solution design
- Full System Paradigm
- Designing for integrated care systems
- Understanding the interrelations between different components of the integrated care system
- Aligning solutions and strategies to future outcome aspirations
- Broadening perspectives of risks and opportunities
Boon Nam has over 25 years of management experience in IT, holding management portfolios in IT planning, architecture, governance, quality and process improvement, application development, operations, human resource development, financial management and outsourcing. He has also developed and impl...
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