Continual improvement

Continual improvement is a systematic process that improves the way work gets done through a series of generally small increments that build on each other.

Sometimes continual improvement can create or contribute to breakthrough improvement.


Standard work - standard processes that represent the current best known way to do something; used as the basis for improvement

Process measures vs results measures - measurement is vital in continual improvement. Results measures quantify the final outcome but are not very helpful for management as by the time they are known it is too late to do anything. Process measures are helpful as they are taken in the process and are good indicators of final results so can be used to check whether changes are improvements as the work proceeds.

Deployment flowcharting - a way to map the process as the basis for improvement or to design a new process. Flowcharting is a vital tool.

Kaizen - a Japanese name for continual improvement

First Run Studies - a way to improve an activity you are doing for the first time - or for the nth time.