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Process Improvement

Process improvement is the act of reviewing a specific process to make it better. The degree of formality can be minimal, such as an immediate decision to change a method on the fly. This might include moving a garbage can closer to a work station to eliminate a walking step of the process. Or, process improvement can be a highly structured, long-term, team-based approach, such as Six Sigma.

Process improvement is only one aspect of any effective continuous improvement strategy. For example, business systems like Toyota’s also include methods of management to keep the company moving forward.

One thing to keep in mind it that everything is a process. No matter what it is we want to do, there are a series of linked steps to get a result. Some processes are poor, others are not clearly defined, and still others are hard to repeat, but they still require a series of steps. For example, writing this dictionary entry requires a process. Of course, it is less structured than the one used to build the keyboard used to type it, but it is still a process.

And the power of continuous improvement lies in the fact that any process can be improved.

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