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Partnership at the Front Line: Unit-Based Teams at Kaiser Permanente. Adrienne E. Eaton (Rutgers University) Adam Seth Litwin (Johns Hopkins U.) Nicole VanderHorst (KP Organizational Research) May 2010. Labor-Management Partnership at KP. LPM agreement signed in 1997
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Adrienne E. Eaton (Rutgers University)
Adam Seth Litwin (Johns Hopkins U.)
Nicole VanderHorst (KP Organizational Research)
How will we know that a
change is an improvement?
What change can we make that
will result in improvement?
Model for Improvement developed by
Associates in Process Improvement
( http://www.apiweb.org)Rapid Improvement ModelFocus on rapid tests under varying conditions
Team Development Level of the 2,085 Unit-Based Teams in place on September 1st, 2009
(See Appendix for Definitions)
Note: Teams formed after 9/1/09 are excluded from this analysis to allow us to track a stable sample over time.
4 Key Goals Identified In KP Strategic Plan
% Making Progress On or Meeting Team Goals as of Feb 2010
UBT Projects Supporting Those Goals
# of Projects Aug 2009
# of Projects Feb 2010
* The relatively large increase in Service Excellence projects is a result of teams starting new projects and regions entering projects into the UBT Tracker system for the first time.
Empowerment, line of sight and continuous improvement are more favorable for those who say they are part of a UBT
*Items with the largest differences
Stage 1 (Pre-Team Climate)
Stage 5 (High-functioning UBT)
Posting of meeting minutes and notes in breakrooms
Communication of key information to employees during daily huddles
Newsletters and/or email communication of information
Teams are launched with initial UBT training for all team members
This training provides a common understanding of the goals of the team, and a shared understanding of the “consensus” and how it is defined by the team. This provides all team members with a structure process for on-boarding, as new team members are brought on, they all go through the same training so they have the same grounding as existing team members.
Training refreshers are provided when there is turnover among UBT members.Communication Training
Teams utilize huddles and other methods of meeting for short periods of time.
Successful UBTs are a valuable resource to other UBTs through sharing of key learnings, best practices, etc.
Successful UBTs share and discuss team metrics at every meeting
All team members are aware of all the metrics of team success
Metrics include –
UBT tracker data – service measures, attendance metrics, workplace safety metrics, employee opinion measures
Teams track success on tests of change through metrics developed by the teamsMethods Metrics
What is new with UBTs that is making a difference:
Systematic use of metrics and organizational support in accessing, analyzing, and reporting metrics.
Systematic integration of UBTs into work of the department and goals of the facility, region and organization
The use of explicit performance improvement models along with more traditional LMP processes like IBPS
Other infrastructure support: training, facilitation, reporting, performance improvement/ODKey Findings