What is Improvement Science? Why do we need a science?
Improvement science is the creative use of the scientific method to achieve an idealized future practice, from ‘profound knowledge’ of a capable current practice.
Traditionally, this transition would have been attempted based on opinion, authority, resources or accidentally. Improvement requires knowledge and method. Improvement Science exists because no system is ever perfect, but every system is capable. As Batalden and Berwick state:
‘ every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets ‘
What Kind of Science ?
While this site will continue to explore the ‘ nature of the science in improvement’ these are some of the themes we wish to develop:
Improvement science is a theory of Practice. It is a technoscience, concerned with ‘making’ than merely ‘what is’. The object of improvement science is practice knowledge.
Real- time science
Analysis of quality can be online or offline. Improvement is a form of Chrono-research which depends on data- over time, that allows intervention.
Improvement is a founded on endless learning in practice: the growth of practice knowledge. The cumulativeness is supported by bootstrapping of the knowledge generation process.
Artificial sciences are inseperable from human interest. If natural sciences are concerned with ‘god made’ problems, artificial sciences address ‘man made’ problems.
Science includes discovery, justification and review. Improvement is inherently evaluative. The endpoint of improvement is ‘act’: whether the ‘improvement’ is worth.
Unlike nomothetic sciences that seek universalisation , improvement is ideographic science that is limited to studying specific objects.
It doesn’t depend on authority but on democratized inquiry.
Induction and deduction have been the alleged logic of natural sciences. The design sciences like improvement are based on abductive reasoning.
Improvement is not an ‘axiomatic’ science but a science of the ‘small world’ based on small steps, using ‘small data’. It is a ‘nomadic’ rather than a ‘statist’ science.
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