A service improvement plan is a plan developed to move a service from its current performance level to a desired, higher level of quality. Key elements of such plans include clearly defined objectives, meaningful engagement of stakeholders and commitment of upper management.
There are several steps involved in a service improvement planning process. It is important that the individual or team initiating the effort has a clear rationale and can support the need for improvements, clearly identifying what is to be improved, the stakeholders to be involved and the potential long- and short-term implications of moving forward. Input from stakeholders and gathering and analyzing performance data are key to identifying the root causes of the current situation and are the initial steps toward clarifying the goal.
Identifying the risks, roadblocks and benchmarks to reach the goal provides direction for the structure needed to move the effort forward. Identification of tasks and activities and assignment of responsibilities and resources to complete the tasks come next. Finally, pilot testing and evaluation of the proposed improvements allow for adjustments prior to full implementation. If a service improvement plan is to be successful, it must also define how improvements are to be sustained and evaluated.