Learning objective

After reading this component the reader will have learnt general information about what Continuous Improvement is, why it is important, some of the benefits that enterprises can achieve, how to implement it and some useful and well-known techniques to do so. The component also provides a case study of successful implementation of Continuous Improvement in a SME. It will take you 45-55 minutes to go through this component.

Introduction

In today’s extremely competitive market, successful organisations must be opened to evolution if they want to maintain their business advantage. Being alert and open to new ideas are essential elements of Continuous Improvement.

Continuous means non-stop. The process never stops and sustained success is more probable in organisations which frequently check their business methods and processes in order to improve.

You can implement a Continuous Improvement philosophy no matter what type of organisation you work in; SMEs, multinational enterprises or public organisations, resulting in quality improvement of products, services, etc, but in order to achieve a successful implementation of this philosophy all the staff in the organisation should be involved.

This component focuses on helpful tools and techniques to gather and visualise information for the implementation of a Continuous Improvement philosophy. One of the crucial elements of the strategy - to stimulate employees commitment, is presented mainly in components 4.6 (Management of internal innovative proposals), 10.1 (Human resource requirements) and 10.2 (Company culture).

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6_5_Continuous_improvement.pdf

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