We’re going to approach continuous improvement with Lean as a method for identifying opportunities to streamline work and reduce waste. We’d also like to remind you that some companies (particularly those in production and manufacturing) will likely adopt this approach fully, while others will enjoy some flexibility when a less formal approach is needed.

The continuous improvement cycle looks like this:

The four steps are:

  1. Identify improvement opportunities in the process, including workflow and value mapping.
  2. Plan for how the current processes can be improved.
  3. Execute the plan and implement the changes.
  4. Review the results and analyze how the changes are working. This will return you to the first step, where you will identify additional opportunities for improvement.