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NHS Bullet Proofing Tool 

 April 3, 2022

By  Dave Litten

NHS Bullet proofing

What is it?

An easy brainstorming technique that can help you to identify and plan for obstacles.

When aiming to improve services, some of the changes that are made will have a knock-on effect on other parts of the organization or system.

Nhs Bullet Proofing Tool Nhs Bullet Proofing

Bulletproofing is a method of thinking through some of the potential issues that may arise when trying to make
improvements or specifically consider potential consequences for different parts of the system that are involved.

Bulletproofing enables you to identify and plan for potential obstacles by asking questions such as:

  • What could possibly go wrong?
  • What are some of the difficulties that could occur?
  • What is the worst imaginable thing that could occur?
  • What negative effect could this project or change have on another team’s work?

When to use it

If you are planning a change or improvement project, you need to plan and prepare for the things that could go wrong and also consider the potential impact of the changes on different parts of the system.

Nhs Bullet Proofing Tool Nhs Bullet Proofing

This tool can be useful at the start of a project, but also when you are selecting and developing improvement ideas. Using the tool will save time later on when changes are implemented and will make them more likely to succeed.

How to use it

Use bulletproofing to help shape the project then use it when key decisions need to be made – ie deciding on the next step, selecting between different improvement ideas or thinking about implementation.

Consider who should be involved. The tool can be used by individuals, eg the project lead, but is usually more effective if used with a wider group that is drawn from across the system that is being improved.

Nhs Bullet Proofing Tool Nhs Bullet Proofing

Start by brainstorming. Think about:
• What might happen?
• What could go wrong?
• What difficulties could occur?

Identify areas in your plan of action that could potentially cause problems then insert them into a table showing how likely the event is to occur and how serious it would be if it did

Analyze your table

If there are significant numbers of major problems that are highly likely to happen, you may need to consider a different approach. Looking at the table will help you to prioritize and change your focus appropriately.

What next?

Nhs Bullet Proofing Tool Nhs Bullet Proofing

Your next steps will depend on the potential problems you have identified. If you are involved in a big project, you may wish to incorporate your strategies for tackling likely and serious problems into a project plan so that you can monitor progress.

You should consider using other creativity tools to help you come up with ways to overcome some of the problems identified.

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David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of Project Management Masterclasses, under the Projex Academy brand name. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.

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