Continuous Improvement CI principles at a glance for organizational development usage



Continuous improvement is an ongoing effect to products, services or processes. These efforts seek incremental improvement over time or breakthrough improvement at processes are constantly evaluated and improved in light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility. In another word, the philosophy of continuous improvement requires systematic and unfiltered evaluation. As one of the elements of TQM, continuous improvements process is easier to manage and utilizes everyone’s talents. Many Japanese companies have used this ideology in their system and they called this approach ’KAIZEN’.

KAIZEN means ’Change for the better’.

KAI means Change and

ZEN means Good.

Kaizen philosophy focuses upon continuous improvements (one at a time) of processes in manufacturing, engineering, supporting business process and management from the top to the bottom level, in another word, it is referred to activities that continually improve all functions and involves employees from top management level to the Assembly line workers.

Elements of Kaizen principle:

  • Six sigma principles (DMAIC,DMADV,DFSS e.t.c)
  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
  • Kanban
  • Quality circle
  • Quality improvement
  • Just in time (JIT)
  • Zero defects
  • Small group improvement
  • Productivity improvement
  • Customer orientation
  • Total Quality Control (TQC) , Statistical Process Control (SPC) principles e.t.c

Some strategies point to bear in mind when implementing continuous improvement in an organizational system.

  1. Start with an example project
  2. Analyze variations of all processes (e.g special & common cause variations e.t.c)
  3. Recognize the process not just results
  4. Simplify,Simplify,Simplify e.t.c
  5. Expect to constantly reinvest in new technology
  6. See failures and problem as an opportunities
  7. Reorganize in other to bring about improvement measures

Feedback is very essential to continuous improvement because it enables the sender to know whether its information has achieved desirable results or not.similarly, the feedback mechanism may be simple oral or written reports, information system, or complex automated statistical analyses integrated with expert systems. the key of continuous improvement is that information is received in time to allow initiating corrective actions to take place, not only that, it also enables the sender to know whether the information is delivered to someone who can initiate action.

’’Continuous improvement is not about the things you do well that’s work, Continuous improvement is about removing the things that get in the way of your work. The headaches, the things that slow you down, that’s what continuous improvement is all about’’

-Bruce Hamilton-

Thank you.

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