Talk:Continual improvement process

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How to establish a CIP article[edit]

This maybe a useful reference for the page:


This might be better tacked onto the the Kaizen page. I say this because the article is short with no real detail on how to distinguish it from Kaizen. It gives no indication of whether the usage is widespread or whether this is just a book. It could be an advert except that it does seem strong enough to really advocate the product. Please enlarge or merge. Facius 12:55, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Continuous vs continual[edit]

Can you please stop muddling your metaphors? If improvements are happening in 'leaps' they're no longer continuous, are they? I guess when whoever coined this realized that continuous isn't really a useful metaphor, they decided to add the leaps. But then it would be patently obvious that this is content-free, so they added on the 'quantum' to make it sound more serious. Management jargon is such a joke. (talk) 21:55, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Long-belated reply: I see what you're saying, but it's not all BS; it's only BS when it's being emptily parroted by PHBs who don't fully understand the words they're mimicking. In English-language linguistic prescription there is a common piece of usage advice that the word "continuous" should be used for things that are continuous in a way literally or figuratively equal to the mathematical sense of the word, and the word "continual" should be used for things that continue in discrete jumps (i.e., quantum-wise). This is the distinction that you're talking about here (in different words). But it is established usage in business management to use the one set term, continuous improvement, to cover both of those graph shapes in umbrella fashion. It's just the way the word is conventionally used in this context. Most management jargon in fact does have a basis in a grain of truth. It only becomes a joke in the mouths of idiots in empty suits. Which unfortunately many business managers are, to more or less extent in each instance. So you're correct that the jargon is often misused. But that's not because it's inherently logicless. It's just because it's commonly abused. — ¾-10 03:11, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
The page heading and text should be changed to 'Continual improvement'. The use of the term 'continuous improvement' to mean 'continual improvement' is usually a case of ignorance on behalf of the user. Considering that the two globally dominant standards for both Quality Management and Environmental Management (ISO 9000 and ISO 14000) both use the term 'continual improvement', the article should be written to reflect that, and perhaps a short statement or sub-heading about use of the terminology can be added. Agree?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by BlackWhiteGrey (talkcontribs) 19:16, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Agree. I hadn't known that ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 (smartly) use "continual" rather than "continuous" (I'm aware of these standards, but I've never read them). If that's the case, then I agree that Wikipedia should title its article with "continual" and should have a section that discusses the usage of the two words. I wouldn't quite present it like "anyone who says 'continuous improvement' is an idiot", because I do believe that, in all fairness, for many years it's been understood that 'continuous improvement' was a set phrase name that by mutual consent encompassed both continuous and continual; but if ISO was smart enough to set its own usage in a way that aligns itself with preferred/careful usage, then great, it's time for the world to treat that usage as the first-listed and preferred variant from now on, even if it formerly didn't quite bother. — ¾-10 19:28, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Update: I added a section to the article covering this usage evolution; I moved the page to the preferred form, and I adapted the lede to mention the synonyms, whose further explanation the reader can find further down, in the section on the usage. — ¾-10 18:23, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Continuous Improvement, Continuous Quality Improvement, Continuous Process Improvement, or Continuous School Improvement, vs Continual Improvement Process, why is the distinction important?
I suggest the terms have different meanings and they come from distinct yet sometimes overlapping literature. Consider book titles, "Continuously ..." for example: Deming's Road to Continual Improvement, The Complete Guide for Applying Kaizen to Continuously Improve Business Results.
Compare this to a longer list of book titles that emphasise "Continuous ...", for example: Continuous Improvement: Teams & Tools, Continuous Improvement Strategies: Japanese Convenience Store Systems, Continuous Quality Improvement in Health Care: Theory, Implementations, and Applications, Achieving TQM On Projects: The Journey Of Continuous Improvement, Agile Experience Design: A Digital Designer's Guide to Agile, Lean, and Continuous, Leadership for Continuous School Improvement, Lean Human Resources: Redesigning HR Processes for a Culture of Continuous Improvement.
I suggest the Toyota_Production_System and The Toyota Way articles need not be changed to Continuously ... wcrosbie (talk), Melbourne, Australia 10:28, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


I propose for this page to be deleted. The name "Continuous Improvement" completely explains this concept and it just doesn't seem like a formal process - it's just a generic statement that we'll improve something over time. Some managers full of hot air are just trying to make their generic ideas seem more business-like.Owen214 (talk) 12:57, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I ABSOLUTELY disagree. Continuous Improvement is applied in many disciplines and is a vital business practice in order to maintain competitiveness. This is far from buzzword management. The process does vary by business/engineering discipline, but iff not for a process continuous improvement, the car you drive would be no better than the first one developed in 1885 (or earlier, if you check the true history).-- (talk) 00:51, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you are both right, in the sense that you are both looking at different parts of the same elephant. Sometimes it is a buzzword for dull-witted semi-competent managers, and sometimes it is a genuine and valid industrial engineering concept. Sometimes the latter is put on like a costume by the former. In other words, there are many idiots in the business world who are so profoundly ignorant that they don't even realize that they're ignorant. These people will take a genuine, valid principle and the words used to describe it (i.e., what is talking about) and play dress-up with it, pretending to be (and possibly also believing themselves to be) a person who's not full of shit [but actually is, or at least half-full] (i.e., what Owen214 was talking about). They are to real engineers and talented leaders what kids playing dress-up with a stethoscope are to real physicians. Just an imitation, not the real thing. The sad difference is that at least the child playing pretend knows that it's just make-believe, whereas many a business manager "adult" is a mental child who actually believes his own bullshit (or at least his conscious mind does not allow his subconscious mind to reveal the secretly known truth that he is playing a charade, impersonating an intelligent, talented leader). The reason the business world is full of such charlatans is basically the same reason why organized crime is filled with murderous sociopaths, and why many a government is filled with "legalized criminals" for lack of a better word (kleptocracies, etc). Ruthlessness, recklessness, arrogance, impulsiveness, shystering, impersonation, con-jobbing, and clever game-playing are the traits that often win the natural selection pressure in cultural evolution. High intelligence and integrity, not so much. It's not a hopeless battle, but Homo sapiens is still a long way from being out of that jungle. — ¾-10 03:11, 31 March 2011 (UTC)