Systems Thinking: A Smarter Approach to Complex STP Projects
PHE ePoster Library. Taylor C. Sep 12, 2017; 186662; 227
Mrs. Cathryn Taylor
Mrs. Cathryn Taylor
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Abstract Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) projects are complex, involving multiple participants. It is a challenge for Public Health Intelligence to add value because it's difficult to determine the questions that are being asked. We often don't have a 'shared-understanding' of the change we are trying to deliver. The primary aim of Public Health Intelligence, in supporting STP projects, is to develop this shared-understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. Systems Thinking can help achieve this. We used this approach to develop clear research questions, focus our support and analysis effectively. Through facilitated workshops with STP partners, we helped map the systems in which they were working. Using causal loop diagrams we built a better understanding of what the underlying research questions looked like. The resulting system maps illustrated the current system in which participants from multiple organisations work. This presented a visual picture of the issues and system interconnections that projects needed to explore. This is the first time this has been achieved and provided a unique basis for shared understanding to be constructed, allowing us to develop focused questions for analysis and research. We have found the Systems Thinking approach to be an invaluable tool. It stimulated dialogue between partners, enabled priorities and new opportunities to be identified and assisted the development of clear research questions. This resulted in useful analysis being undertaken which facilitated better decision making and effective service changes. It has allowed STP projects to move forward and offers a smarter approach to achieving this.
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