SISEP eNotes: November 10, 2015

Date Published: 2015-11-10



SISEP eNotes

Notes, News and Discussion from the
State Implementation & Scaling-up of Evidence-Based Practices Project

November 10, 2015

Improve on Purpose through Usability Testing

Implementation Teams can use Usability Testing to test critical innovation components and implementation processes, and to identify challenges or systems barriers that need to be addressed.

Usability testing can help answer questions such as:

  • Do the critical components operate as planned?
  • Are there obstacles to implementing these critical components?
  • Are these obstacles local or statewide?
  • What changes need to be made to eliminate these obstacles?

Usability testing is different from research or pilots. Research or ‘pilot’ conditions are typically characterized by special resources and conditions. Usability testing occurs under more typical conditions. 


Usability testing makes use of a series of Plan Do Study Act Cycles (PDSA-C)

Usability testing makes use of a series of Plan Do Study Act Cycles (PDSA-C).  Small cohorts of participants proactively test the feasibility and impact of a new way of work. The goal is to progressively work out the challenges and improve the processes before scaling up the innovation.
The key to Usability Testing is having a team that:

  • Plans - drives the improvement planning
  • Does - engages in the doing
  • Studies - stops and studies what is working (or not) using data
  • Acts - identifies needed actions and implements those actions in another cycle with a different small group of participants

By engaging 4 to 5 cycles, we can effectively work out the bugs and improve the experience of those using the innovation or implementation processes.

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