Continuous Improvement (CI) is a mindset that anyone can adopt - supported by a skills-set that anyone can learn. CI gives us all the power to make our daily working lives better in tangible ways.
CI Conference 2023: 6th July, 9am - 12.45pm
Learn, discover, inspire: using CI to reduce every day frustrations
After our very successful first conference last year, we are delighted to be running our second event on Thursday 6th July at the Mathematical Institute. It will give you an opportunity to hear inspiring stories about how colleagues are using continuous improvement (CI) approaches to affect positive change in their local area and learn about tools that you can use to help you in your role. There will be a mixture of talks, activities and a showcase, where you can speak to colleagues from across the University about how they are using CI, and discover how small steps can lead to big changes. If you’re not already doing so, we hope you’ll leave the conference inspired to use CI in your work.
Find out more
Consider training as a Local Practitioner
Focus are running structured development programmes to grow CI capability and experience in local teams. As well as undertaking training, you will work on a local improvement project supported by a Focus buddy. The next recruitment will take place in autumn 2023 for a February 2024 start, so please visit our information page for further details.
Find your tribe! Join our newly-launched Continuous Improvement Community of Practice (CI COP)
Sponsored by the Focus team, the CI CoP is an active and welcoming CI learning community open to all University staff at any stage of your CI journey. It aims to promote CI as a way of working and part of the culture at Oxford, by providing a forum in which staff can learn from each other, share CI successes and inspiration and seek and offer support. Find out more and download the Joining Pack here.
Get started with Continuous Improvement e-Learning - now available to all staff!
Learn the fundamentals of Continuous Improvement (CI) with our new Learning Pathway which introduces tools, techniques and concepts that you can use with colleagues in your team to begin improving ways of working.
The modular e-Learning format means you can work through it at your chosen time and pace. Training is tailored specifically to teach tools and approaches that have already succeeded in our University environment, and its highly practical slant supports you in taking your first steps. The e-learning is supplemented with further resources including case studies, templates and practical workbooks. As we're keen to emphasise, CI is something you need to put into action not just learn in theory!
'The FOCUS e-learning is very well designed, with clear steps and content. The modular format means it is simple to fit into a busy workload, and sustainable to keep up with. I've found it easy to engage with the material; it is practical and I can see how to implement the tools in my work. It has given me a better understanding of the complexities of processes and the importance of accurate scoping and wide consultation. I’ve already started implementing many of the tools as part of projects and have found it has helped me to improve my own ways of working too.'
e-Learning user in an academic department
Would you like to learn about Continuous Improvement as a team, working on a live local process issue?
The Focus team have developed a structured learning programme for teams, running over 4-6 weeks and involving three workshop events.
If you are interested in being in our next cohort please email email@example.com
Visit the CI LaunchPad
LaunchPad is your one-stop-shop for accessing the CI eLearning and CI CoP (Continuous Improvement Community of Practice). Why not take a look - and add LaunchPad to your browser 'favourites' to keep it handy?
Download resources from the Focus Toolkit
The Focus Toolkit is a suite of self-directed learning and reference resources to introduce people with little or no prior experience of Focus to some of our most popular tools. The emphasis is on accessible, easy-to-use tools that don't require anything on the scale of a 'project'. These include techniques for problem solving, finding out your customers' needs and organising your workspace. The aim is to help teams take their first steps in process improvement without the commitment of a project or attending training. Why not take a look and see what's on offer?
You made it fun - Involved every single participant - Got us thinking outside the box - Helpful practical examples - Fun interactive exercises
Comments from workshop attendees experiencing Focus approaches in action for the first time
Try out some Focus tools for personal improvement
We ran a popular session at the Professional Services Conference in September 2021 where we shared some simple, practical tools that individual can start using straight away to increase their own personal effectiveness. You can access Focus tools for personal improvement here.
Participate in an improvement initiative in your area
If there is an improvement initiative going on in your area - whether facilitated by Focus or by colleagues locally - we encourage you to get involved. Continuous Improvement is based on participation and engagement and there are often opportunities to take part in workshops. These are informal yet structured, and designed to create a stimulating and safe environment in which everyone has the opportunity to actively participate.
'I'm learning a lot just being part of this.'
Departmental participant in Focus project (Building Trust in Our Data)
Explore an idea with us for a potential improvement initiative
If your team has a clear idea for an improvement initiative that you're committed to driving forward - and which would benefit from Focus support, we'd welcome hearing from you to explore your proposal. We don't do projects for you (you need to own and drive the project and free up staff capacity to deliver it). Rather, we bring skills, structured methodologies and engagement techniques which we teach and model while 'walking alongside you'. Read about the Focus approach here.
Please email us with the salient points of your proposed idea, to arrange a preliminary conversation.
Learn how others in the University are developing Continuous Improvement approaches and initiatives
Browse our news stories and case studies to discover how Focus approaches and Continuous Improvement initiatives are making a difference around University. We hope you'll be inspired!
Share your own success stories
If you've taken your first step with a Focus tool/approach and you have a success story to tell - please let us know! No first step is too small! We're really interested to hear how you're adopting and developing Focus approaches in your team. And we want to join with you in celebrating your successes!
'It was utterly brilliant!'
This was the most energised session our team has had in 3 years [of team development sessions] and it went down really well. People are discussing it, motivated and full of ideas!
Feedback received after a team training course