Essential Elements Workshops

Essential Elements Workshops are short classes that provide detailed education on a specific tool or component of process improvement. Courses are open to all Dartmouth Health employees at no cost. Courses are regularly scheduled onsite in Lebanon. To find out more about a course or request a course on-site at your Dartmouth Health location, please contact us at

  • Employees of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics: View available sessions and register in Halogen.
  • Employees of other Dartmouth Health members: Email for a list of upcoming classes.

Workshop descriptions

5S and Workplace Organization

This course introduces the concept and use of 5S as a visual workplace organization technique. Attendees will learn the steps involved in a 5S process to achieve and sustain a controlled standard workflow or/value-institute-0/value-institute/faculty space.

Cause and Effect

This course introduces the concept and use of Cause and Effect during problem-solving and root cause analysis. Attendees will learn ‘Point of Cause’ vs. ‘Root Cause,’ Chain of Causation, Root Cause Analysis (RCA), and Root Cause Selection Criteria.

Control Plans and Process Management

This course introduces the development and use of control plans. Students will learn what elements are important to include in a control plan. Control plans help to ensure the Key Performance Indicators for a process are monitored and create a foundation for sustaining performance.

Developing Project Charters

The project charter is an essential document drafted during the planning phase and used throughout the life cycle of a project. This workshop will teach students techniques to translate project ideas into a clear and concise project charter that reflects the key elements of this critical project document and accurately summarizes the project.

Excel: Data Preparation for Analysis

This course provides information on how to “clean” and organize raw data files to conduct meaningful data analysis. Functions explored include: If statements, Vlookup, Text to Columns, and date/time math. This course is not recommended for novice Excel users.

Excel: Pivot Table for Beginners

This course covers how to construct and work with pivot tables and look at data in various ways. During the course the attendees will learn how to use this powerful reporting tool to summarize data in a spreadsheet. Attendees will also learn how to filter the tables, use a variety of calculations, and create and modify pivot tables.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

This course provides an introduction to the concept and use of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to support improvement work. Attendees will learn when to use FMEA, the steps to conduct, and how to create and use operational definitions for risk prioritization.

Goal Setting for Project Leaders

This course provides an introduction to the development of project goals. When drafting project charters, it is important to have well-drafted goals that align with the overall goals of the department. An overview of organizational goal setting and the importance of cascading goals will be presented.

PDSA Workshop

The Plan Do Study Act course takes the PDSA methodology from concept to practical implementation. The course provides a brief history and overview of the iterative four-step methodology, discusses key concepts of PDSA, and demonstrates the cycle through the use of a hands-on exercise.

Project Sponsor Workshop

This course provides an overview of the Project Management process and describes the primary responsibilities of a project sponsor. Attendees will be presented with a project management framework and then walk step-by-step through a series of best practices and tools associated with the project sponsor role.

Spaghetti Diagrams

This course provides an introduction to the understanding, creation, and use of spaghetti diagrams. Attendees will learn the method and techniques for creating spaghetti diagrams that are used in exposing and evaluating possible sources of waste in order to optimize workflow and identify opportunities for process improvement.

SPC XL Training

This course covers SPC XL navigation and general functionality. Students will strengthen their understanding of basic statistical concepts and put them to work through in-class exercises using SPC XL software. The exercises will be focused on creating and interpreting Control Charts, Histograms, Pareto Charts, and Box Plots.

Standard Work

Recommendations from Performance Improvement projects many times include changes to staff workflows. Standard work is one of the ways project teams can help ensure that the changes they have made become part of the day to day work for staff in the future. In this class students will learn how to create, update and implement standard work documents.

Understanding Operational Capacity

Provides operational managers and supervisors with the tools to calculate capacity and manage process flow.