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Quality Improvement Essentials Toolkit

Download these ten essential quality improvement tools to help you with your improvement projects, continuous improvement, and quality management, whether you use the Model for Improvement, Lean, or Six Sigma.


  • 10 quality improvement tools: Cause and Effect Diagram, Driver Diagram, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Tool, Flowchart, Histogram, Pareto Chart, PDSA Worksheet, Project Planning Form, Run Chart, Scatter Diagram
  • Instructions, examples, and a template for each tool

Note: Spanish and Portuguese translations of this toolkit also available for download.

IHI’s Quality Improvement Essentials Toolkit includes the tools and templates you need to launch a successful quality improvement project and manage performance improvement. Each of the ten quality improvement (QI) tools can be used with the Model for Improvement, Lean, or Six Sigma, and includes a short description, instructions, an example, and a blank template.

The QI tools include:

  • Cause and Effect Diagram: Also known as the Ishikawa or fishbone diagram, this tool helps you analyze the root causes contributing to an outcome.
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis: Also used in Lean management and Six Sigma, FMEA is a systematic, proactive method for identifying potential risks and their impact.
  • Run Charts: These charts help you monitor performance over time.
  • PDSA Worksheet: Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid-cycle testing helps teams assess whether a change leads to improvement using a methodical learning process.

Download the complete toolkit with all ten tools, or download individual tools as you need them to guide your continuous improvement work.

*NOTE: Before filling out the templates, first save the PDF files to your computer. Then open and use that version of the tool. Otherwise, your changes will not be saved.

How to Cite This Document:
Quality Improvement Essentials Toolkit. Boston: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2017. (Available at

IHI QI Essentials Toolkit Overview

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