Continuous improvement is a type of change that is focused on increasing the effectiveness and/or efficiency of an organization to fulfill its policies and objectives.
It is not limited to quality initiatives. Improvement in business strategy, business results, and customer, employee, and supplier business relationships can be subject to continual improvement.
Putting it simply, it means "getting better all the time."
Here are the ten steps to undertaking continuous improvement:
- Determine current performance.
- Establish a need to improve.
- Obtain commitment and define the improvement objective.
- Organize the diagnostic resources.
- Carry out research and analysis to discover the cause of current performance.
- Define and test solutions that will accomplish the improvement objective.
- Produce improvement plans which specify how and by whom the changes will be implemented.
- Identify and overcome any resistance to the change.
- Implement the change.
- Put in place controls to hold new levels of performance, and repeat step one.