The UCSF Continuous Improvement Toolkit
UCSF's Continuous Improvement (CI) approach follows a five-step model that empowers work groups to review, assess, and improve processes.

UCSF's 5-Step Approach to Continuous Improvement


The Continuous Improvement (CI) Toolkit features downloadable materials with detailed descriptions of how to work through each step: Initiate, Explore, Improve, Implement, and Celebrate. Be sure to read all five steps before beginning your project! The CI Toolkit and its associated templates were developed by the UCSF Program Management Office as part of the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet FY2015 Initiative on Business Process Improvement. The Facilitator Tool Kit was created and published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Quality Improvement.

Start Here

To familiarize yourself with business process improvement and why it is important, read the Continuous Improvement Overview PDF linked below.

 Continuous Improvement Overview (PDF)


This step includes guidance on starting a CI project, including forming an improvement team, creating a project charter, and managing the project.

BPI Step 1: Initiate (PDF)

Template: Project Charter (Word Doc)

Template: Project Schedule (Excel)

Template: Project Roadmap (Excel)


This step involves assessing value from the customer’s perspective, mapping the current state, and developing a deep understanding the process.


Template: Swim Lane Process Map (Excel)


This step is where the team identifies what is broken in the current process, determines why the broken components exist, and figures out how to improve the process via specific changes.

 BPI Step 3: Improve (PDF)

Template: Root Cause Analysis (Excel)

Template: Improvements List (Excel)

Template: Summary of Targeted Changes (Excel)


After deciding which changes to pursue in the previous step and defining the desired future state, you will need to implement the changes. This step is about planning and executing the changes.

BPI Step 4: Implement (PDF)

Template: Action Plan (Excel)

Template: Status Report (Excel)


This step is about recognizing and documenting project accomplishments as well as the ongoing work of continuously improving.

BPI Step 5: Celebrate! (PDF)

Facilitator's Guide

The "Facilitator Tool Kit" was developed by the Office of Quality Improvement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to tools, methods, and techniques for assisting groups with improvement projects. Clear directions lead the reader through the selection and application of practical tools that have been tested with university groups.

Download the Facilitator Tool Kit (PDF)

Group Norms

The PMO created the Group Values and Agreement for Working Together guidelines based off of the Inclusive Teaching page of University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Introduce these guidelines at the beginning of your facilitated activity and post them in a place that is easy to refer back to.

Group Norms