3.4.2 Preparing for change

Once your causal analysis has progressed so far, the most important issues for change and improvement should be at hand. But since it is impossible to improve quality simultaneously all over your institution, you have to make choices, select and determine a focus for action. In this respect the Pareto analysis technique, explained in Box 24, may be a helpful tool.


Box 24. Pareto analysis

Pareto analysis, also known as the 80-20 rule, is a tool for prioritising improvement actions and finding solutions for problems. The rule states that 80% of problems originate from 20% of the causes. By identifying the crucial 20% you are able to improve your performance disproportionately.


As soon as preferred areas for change and improvement are identified, options must be discussed and agreed. As expectations and intentions of the VET organisation, teachers and trainers, other employees, students and other stake holders do not necessarily coincide, compromises often have to be found. Available means for achieving the intended objectives should be checked: are they sufficient to accomplish the desired results? Which partners are available to help achieve the intended objectives? Which stakeholders can provide support?

Various tools are available to tackle such issues. To gather ideas for implementing change you could organise, for example, a mind-mapping session. A keyword or image is put in the centre of a chart, from where main branches and subbranches radiate in different directions, creating a map in which elements to be considered are clearly and hierarchically structured.

Another tool promoting innovative ideas is short brainstorming meetings, which should not exceed 10 to 30 minutes and should focus on topics communicated some time before the meeting.


Box 25. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a key tool to assure and develop quality in VET organisations. It is organised as a free-flowing process assembling experienced stakeholders to generate ideas for further development of the VET organisation and solutions to overcome failures.