Go Back (R)Evolution!

Improvement comes in differing forms;

Fast – Slow

Continuous – Continual

Long-Term – Immediate

And so on….

Continual improvement is the sort that takes account of improvements that are on-going, the slow and continuous types that are normally based on long-term aims and the more immediate break-through types of improvement.    The sorts of changes that make a real difference to the environment that are really noticeable.  The sorts that normally take a certain amount of bravery as a leader, I would say only a leader can do make these sorts of improvements.

Continuous improvement is the realm of management, its a process that by its very nature must be maintained (managed) to conclusion, a conclusion that often is never going to be reached, the never ending cycle of meeting expectations.

Continual improvement of the break-through kind requires bravery, stubbornness, a degree of fearlessness and a good amount of confidence to follow through on.


So, what to improve?

Answer – the process.

And the method?

Plan – Do – check – Act (PDCA), this is an age old system of improvement, the more recent innovation in the cycle is;

Define – Measure – Analyse – Improve – Control (DMAIC)

  • Begin by mapping the process keeping the end goal (customer priorities) in mind
  • Identify the sub-stages that will make a difference
  •  Choose a project (projects will cross functional boundaries so systems thinking comes into it)
  •  Find a suitable measure
  • Record performance
  • Decide whats wrong by using process mapping
  • Design experiments
  • Record outcomes from the experiments
  • Perform value analysis and validate statistically
  • Determine the improvement to be made and the tolerances that are acceptable
  • Implement the solutions
  • Monitor and hold the gains

A final improvement cycle is the 8-D system;

  1. Use a team
  2. Describe the problem
  3. Contain the symptom
  4. Find the root cause
  5. Choose and verify the corrective action
  6. Implement permanent corrective action
  7. Prevent recurrence
  8. Congratulate and celebrate

In the end improvement is part of management, the keep it going bits but setting the direction, that’s all about leadership.




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