Monday, January 29, 2018 2:54 pm
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Continuous improvement is a dedication to making small changes and improvements every day, with the expectation that those small improvements will add up to something significant.
The typical approach to self-improvement is to set a large goal, then try to take big leaps in order to accomplish the goal in as little time as possible.
Now, let's talk about a few quick steps you can take right now to start focusing on continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once.
Among the most widely used tools for continuous improvement is a four-step quality model—the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.
Plan: Identify an opportunity and plan for change.
Do: Implement the change on a small scale.
Check: Use data to analyze the results of the change and determine whether it made a difference.
Act: If the change was successful, implement it on a wider scale and continuously assess your results. If the change did not work, begin the cycle again.
The terms continuous improvement and continual improvement are frequently used interchangeably. But some quality practitioners make the following distinction:
Continual improvement: a broader term preferred by W. Edwards Deming to refer to general processes of improvement and encompassing “discontinuous” improvements—that is, many different approaches, covering different areas.
Continuous improvement: a subset of continual improvement, with a more specific focus on linear, incremental improvement within an existing process. Some practitioners also associate continuous improvement more closely with techniques of statistical process control.