To achieve this goal, the MUMC+ decided to implement the Operational Excellence strategy, which focuses on continual improvement of the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of processes. As Operational Excellence is broader than the Quality and Safety programme, it was established as a separate programme.
From the word go, the MUMC+ board emphasized that the methods in the strategy were not a goal in themselves, rather tools to help achieve goals. These tools would help transform process steps that add no value into process steps that create value for patients and combat 'waste' (Muda).
The Shingo Maturity model
The system-wide Operational Excellence strategy requires organizations to go through a number of stages. The first stage (Don't Know) is an ad-hoc phase characterized by treating symptoms. Fires are put out, but no real solutions are found. Often, the same problems flare up again the next day. In the second stage (Know How), tools are introduced to improve work processes, such as the improvement board. Some parts of the organization begin to set up projects, while others don't. The next level is the system stage (Know When): process and project-oriented thinking is relinquished and the organization develops a culture based on continual improvement. By the fourth stage (Know Why), continually maintaining a critical eye has become part of the organizational DNA. The Shingo Maturity Model displays the stage of the change process within the organization.
In 2009, at the start of the journey, MUMC+ was at stage 1.