What’s Your Theory?
Abstract:This article encourages the use of driver diagrams in quality management, and explains their advantages, creation, development, and use. A driver diagram serves as a tool for building a testable hypothesis. It consists of a team's shared theory of knowledge (which is developed by consensus) and includes relevant beliefs of team members about what must change and which ideas about how to change may result in improved outcomes. For an improvement project, the driver diagram illustrates what structures, processes, and norms are believed to require change in the system, as well as how these could be changed through the application of specific ideas. On a driver diagram, everything to the right of the aim statement identifies a theory about what must change and how it must change to achieve the desired performance or outcome. Because the driver diagram represents an overall theory, it is essentially a broad prediction of the changes required to accomplish a given aim or outcome. The use of a driver …