Continuous Improvement Stage

The Continuous Improvement stage is often the unloved orphan child of a business transformation initiative.

When the programmes and projects have been wound up, and routine operations are the order of the day, it is the important role of continuous improvement efforts as part of people’s day-to-day routine to sustain the achievements of the business transformation work and improve on them by finding and implementing minor ‘tuning’ improvement opportunities.

As the nature of the work suggests, given continuous improvement is meant to be part of everyones daily routine, this work is largely carried out by operational line management and staff.  Further, there is no typical set of deliverables / products from this stage as the opportunities can be what-ever people want them to be.

The only qualifications are that they should be minor in scope, quick to implement and with a short pay-back period on a typically small (e.g. departmental budget line funded) investment.

Checkered Flag

Properly resourced and run continuous improvement can be a potent force for good in any organisation, keeping it from slipping back to its ‘old tricks’, and explictly prodding it to be constantly on the lookout for opportunties to eliminate waste.  Some of the elements most commonly associated with continuous improvement efforts are as detailed below.

The five foundation elements of Kaizen (continuous improvement):

  • Team work
  • Personal discipline
  • Improved morale
  • Quality circles
  • Suggestions for improvement

Out of this foundation, three key factors arise:

Elimination of waste (muda) and incorporation of efficiency

The Kaizen five – S framework for good housekeeping:

  • Seiri – tidiness
  • Seiton – orderliness
  • Seiso – cleanliness
  • Seiketsu – standardized clean-up
  • Shitsuke – discipline


Bulls EyeRemember, although it may not be glamourous, it is important……and the results can be impressive……both in terms of financial payback and in improved staff morale and attitudes!

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