Continuous improvement (or Kaizen) is a way to identify opportunities for streamlining work and reducing waste. This practice was made popular by Lean/Agile/ Kaizen, which is used worldwide to find savings opportunities. Combining many of these ideas can yield great results. To facilitate CI, Kaizen can be combined with Kanban.

Continuous improvement can be done without the formal Lean or Agile method. However, the best tool for an enterprise is one that integrates CI into an automated, scalable solution.

The benefits of continuous improvement

Streamline your workflow

Businesses can reduce their operating costs by working to improve continuously. Continuous improvement, also known as “rapid improvements”, is a Lean improvement technique that streamlines workflows.

Lean working allows for efficient workflows which save time and money. This will allow you to cut down on wasted time and effort. Projects that require shifting deadlines, changing priorities, and other complexity are often filled with opportunities for improvement. The problem is that no one has taken advantage of that opportunity.

Reducing project costs and avoiding overages

A project manager should know how much it costs to complete a particular piece of work. Most project management offices are able to calculate the time required to complete certain types of work. Forecasting Software can help project managers reduce costs and avoid overages. Forecasting (or estimating) the likelihood of a project being broken is one-way project management offices can improve their overall effectiveness.

When is Continuous Improvement appropriate?

Quality sacrifices cannot be justified by being able to do things faster or more cheaply. Companies turn to Lean methods of working that include continuous improvement and quality control in order to maintain high standards while reducing time and costs.

For companies whose teams are unable to practice continuous improvement throughout their day-to-day work, the next best way to leverage the concept is to hold CI events, otherwise known as Rapid Improvement events or Value stream mapping. Continuous Improvement events may take up to five days depending on how deep and broad the topic is. Team members often leave with “to-do” items to help new processes take root within their organization. These items can be time-consuming to execute and take up to a few hours to complete. Lean improvement is a common standard for all work and projects in many companies. Companies can save money through continuous improvement by identifying inefficiencies within project teams that have many layers of management and manufacturing teams whose actions equate to money. Organizational attachment to potential cost savings will determine whether a company makes continuous improvement a part of its daily culture.