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Continuous Improvement Development Guide

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Continuous Improvement Development Guide (TM)

VOLUME I: Introduction and Exploration

Phase 1 of our Continuous Improvement Development System is the “Introduction and Exploration” phase. This is the time when people start acting on their curiosity and actively seek information about Lean or Six Sigma of whatever continuous improvement discipline they are considering. It is probably worth noting at this point that we use the terms “Lean” and “Continuous Improvement” rather interchangeably. In truth, Lean is just one specific form of continuous improvement, but since it is rather open to new ideas, in practice anything you would do in a generic CI program, you can do in Lean. And any generic CI program would adopt any Lean tools and principles that work. In essence, they are identical.

But regardless of how you frame what you are going to do, some people will have a bit of knowledge; others will be completely blank slates. Some people will be skeptical; others will be instantly convinced. Still others will never make the leap to start a transformation. What that means is that the time it will take you to move through this phase will vary, and the path will be unique. So, what should you do?

Take a moment to download our Continuous Improvement Development Guide. You’ll use this in each of the phases as you progress through your transformation. It contains a great deal more information about each phase than you will find in these summaries. It also contains an ‘at-a-glance’ matrix to compare phases.

We also recommend you download our Phase 1 Directory. It contains a listing of our articles, terms, and other content that you can use to make an informed decision.

Finally, look over our Phase 1 Checklist to cover all your bases before moving on to Phase 2 (Committing).


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Phase Information



Moving through this phase will vary based upon numerous factors. Some people immediately latch onto the concept of building a continuous improvement culture, and leap nearly instantly to Phase 2 (Committing). Others will wallow in indecision and be mired for a substantial time. Still others will abandon this journey and never move to Phase 2.

Tools and Topics (Highlights)

  • General Lean concepts
  • Finding continuous improvement information
  • Making the decision to become Lean
  • Choosing the leader for your continuous improvement efforts
  • Setting up a system to manage your continuous improvement information

Key Gates/Tasks/Milestones

  1. Selecting the program leader
  2. Creating an information management system

Practical Guide Directory

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