THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: HOW TO DO IT?
Towards a culture of never ending improvement: A tentative model
Phase 1: This phase represents the introduction of the continuous improvement initiative. It is dependent on the existence of four main criteria which include:
- Management Commitments
- A positive climate for improvement;
- Resource allocations;
- Help and support.
This phase is basically a learning curve and the problems solved are incremental in their impact. This phase can be seen as occupying negative time as it is time which does not add value.
Phase 2: This phase marks team independence, and their confidence in managing their own problem solving activities. It therefore means that there is much less reliance on consultants, great reduction in management time and since problem solving techniques are familiar to all members, problem solving time is greatly reduced.
This phase represents a positive evolution in time where there is a gradual shift from specific task oriented activity to a multi-task (organisational) problem solving activity.
Continuous improvement is the best vehicle in the quest for progress and excellence. Total Quality Management is about continuous improvement for doing things right first time and every time and doing the right things externally.