The Continual Improvement Process (CIP) is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. It’s is a six step systematic approach to plan, sequence and implement improvement efforts using data and elaborates on the Shewhart Cycle (Act, Plan, Do, Study). The CIP provides a common language and methodology which enables understanding the improvement process. The CIP always links back to each organization own goals and priorities.
The six (6) steps of the Continuous Improvement Process are:
- Identify Improvement Opportunity: Select the appropriate process for improvement.
- Evaluate Process:
- Select a challenge/problem
- Analyze: Identify and verify the root cause(s).
- Take Action: Plan and implement actions that correct the root cause(s).
- Study Results: Confirm the actions taken to achieve the target.
- Standardize Solution: Ensure the improved level of performance is maintained.
- Plan for Future:
- Plan what is to be done with any remaining problems
- Evaluate the team’s effectiveness Set a target for improvement
Tools that can be used to help with the Continual Improvement Process are:
- Force Field Analysis
- Affinity Diagram
- Delphi Technique
- Pareto Chart
- Cause and Effect Diagram
- Scatter Diagram
- Check Sheet
- Control Chart
- Process Capability Index and Ratio
- ISO 14000