The AIM is sometimes called the Charter or Opportunity Statement. It describes the scope of an improvement effort, as viewed by the organization and the team/individual striving for improvement.
Some features of the AIM statement are as follows:
- The name of the process, service or product to be changed
- The subsystem or microsystem within which the change is to take place
- The recipient or customer receiving the benefit of the improvement
- The boundaries of the effort (starts at _____ and stops at ____)
- The objective, numerical goal or anticipated outcome
- Time frame—key milestones and completion date
An early team task is to agree on the AIM. Every meeting should include a review of the aim statement, “Remember, we’re here to reduce line infections by 50% within 12 months,” and then a review of progress quantitatively over time. It is acceptable to tweak the aim, as the team learns more about their work.
Construction of the AIM can follow this thought process:
An opportunity exists to (improve, redesign-name of process) _________________ for _________________________ (the customer). The process starts at _____________ and ends at _______________. (boundaries) Success will be measured by achieving _____________________ (outcome) by _____________ (date).
An opportunity exists to improve nutrition practices for our infants, beginning within 6 hours of birth. Success will be measured by an increase in the number of babies exclusively fed by breastmilk at discharge and other indicators of adequate hydration and nutrition. Our goal is to increase breastmilk feeding by 50% by year-end.
Current thinking has encouraged use of “stretch goals,” since many improvement efforts of the past have barely exceeded the status quo. However, the stretch goal is not the measure of success—i.e., you either meet it or you don’t (a yes/no measure). The measure of goodness is as much improvement as you can possibly accomplish.