continuous quality improvement definition
Continuous improvement is continuous efforts undertaken to develop and improve products, services, or processes. These efforts aim to find and get the “best shape” of the resulting improvement, which provides the best solution to the problem, which results will persist and even grow better.
Continuous quality improvement is based on a team approach and requires a development team consisting of staff from different functional areas and levels within the organization. This method assumes that any system can always be upgraded and therefore emphasizes ongoing improvement processes, requiring long-term organizational commitment and effective teamwork.
Basically the term continuous improvement refers to the concept of Kaizen in Japan. Kaizen is a term in Japanese that can be interpreted as continuous improvement. Continuous improvement begins with team development and should be supported by teamwork. Kaizen must be implemented by companies or organizations using the Total Quality Management philosophy. Kaizen is a unity of comprehensive and integrated view
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is:
A theory-based management system that looks at processes / outcomes
Tools to help quantify what we do
A search for common causes of variation
Driven by data
System, process and client feedback
Among all the tools used to run the Continuous Improvement mission is a “four-step quality modeling” called the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), also known as the Deming Cycle or Shewhart Cycle.
Plan: The stage of identification of opportunities for change and plans for changes to be made.
Do: Implementation of changes on a small scale.
Check: Using data to analyze the results of the changes and determine whether changes made / will make a significant difference.
Act: If change is considered successful, implement the change on a larger scale and preserve the result. If changes have not made a significant difference, repeat the PDCA cycle.
Core Concepts of CQI
Quality is defined as meeting and / or exceeding the expectations of our customers.
Success is achieved through meeting the needs of those we serve.
Most problems are found in processes, not in people. CQI does not seek to blame, but rather to improve processes.
Unintended variation in processes can lead to unwanted variation in outcomes, and therefore we seek to reduce or eliminate unwanted variation.
It is possible to achieve continual improvement through small, incremental changes using the scientific method.
Continuous improvement is most effective when it becomes a natural part of the way everyday work is done.