There is a process cell where I work that is the picture of Continuous Improvement Iterations - 1/2013 to date:                            >>>>>>>>>>>>

The cell was moved from one factory to another; operators have changed; the machining approach and tooling has changed; safety concerns involving load and unload have been addressed.

And the Standard Work has been rewritten 6 times!

Continuous Improvement is going to want you to have a way to SEE when the cycle could not be performed to the “least waste way” in real time when it happens! This last one may seem like a tall order, but it is possible with a very simple visual control.

The Deming (actually, the "Shewhart") model for Continuous Improvement

The Continuous Improvement Cycle:

        ​LEAN as an Operating System

This is just one example of a visual board located next to a process with all those elements on board. Used in series, they cycle us through iterations of Continuous Improvement.

The term, “Continuous Improvement” just rolls off the tongue like butter off a hot biscuit, but I doubt that most organizations actually have a visual concept of what Continuous Improvement looks like (or will look like) in their enterprise.  What are we trying to continuously improve on and why? And most importantly, when we get better at doing something, how do we insure that the improvement is translated to the bottom line and that it’s not just given back to the waste in a short time.

An equivalent model using LEAN tools: percent load; Standard Work; hour x hour chart; Open Items to Complete sheet -  to serve as the Plan-Do-Check-Act components of Deming's model