Continual Improvement

Dr. Deming used to using the term continual improvement (rather than continuous improvement) later in his life because that would include continuous and dis-continuous improvement (innovation, etc.). I use continual improvement for that reason also. I think the improvement process

  • must be never ending
  • must focus daily on how any process can be improved
  • must focus on adopting improvement systemically (not just locally, by one person or team)
  • must focus on discontinuous improvement which could include high energy kaizen events and dramatic innovation
  • must include a study phase (PDSA) where the improvements are evaluated to determine whether they actually achieved the predicted results
  • and must include improvement of the improvement process itself

To me, continual improvement encompasses both continuous and discontinuous improvement.

Reflecting on: Continuous Improvement vs. Continual Improvement

Related: Process Improvement and InnovationBetter and DifferentKaizen the Toyota WayChange is not ImprovementThink Long Term Act DailyEncourage Improvement Action by Everyone

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