Continuous Improvement (CI) is a method for identifying opportunities in an ongoing effort to streamline work, reduce waste, and improve products, services or processes. These efforts can provide incremental or small improvements over time or breakthrough improvements.
Maintaining business advantage in today’s highly competitive marketplace is a key element for successful organisations. Being open to change, forward thinking and receptive to new ideas and ways of working are essential factors of Continuous Improvement (CI).
Continuous Improvement (CI) means constant and unceasing. The improvement process never stops and sustained success is more likely in organisations which regularly review their business methods and processes, whilst driving the never-ending search for improvements.
To drive Continuous Improvement (CI) you need:
- Total commitment and vision from senior management
- Understand ‘what good looks like’ and focus on how to achieve it
- Provide opportunities for all employees to contribute to the Continuous Improvement (CI) process
- Empower the process owners, this provides a more committed workforce which helps to drive further improvement
- Ensure everyone understands their role in achieving the business strategic goals
- Measure and evaluate progress made against key performance indicators and benchmarks
- Develop and train staff in Continuous Improvement (CI) and link training activities to operations and business objectives
- Create good communications and celebrate achievements throughout the organisation
Aim to make continuous improvement a natural part of the business process. By embedding Continuous Improvement (CI) into the fabric of the business it becomes a powerful and unstoppable working practice and helps create steady growth and development by keeping the business focussed on its aims, priorities and performance.
The Continuous Improvement (CI) process is proven to deliver significant benefits to organisations in a variety of sectors.
- Reduced waste in the organisation through developing lean production processes
- Improve business performance resulting in increased profits
- Improved product and service quality
- Reduced rework time and improved fault finding capability
- Quicker response times
- Creates a more competitive business by focusing on driving down costs
- Delight customers through innovative products and services
- Greater job satisfaction and improved recruitment and retention figures
- Improved staff morale
- Better communications within organisations
- More effective use of resources