Magazine article Risk Management

The Philosophy of Continuous Improvement

Magazine article Risk Management

The Philosophy of Continuous Improvement

Article excerpt

In our quality management workshops, participants learn that they must improve communication with their internal and external customers to develop a stronger sense of harmony and cooperation. This, in turn, will help to continually improve the way business is conducted. They also learn that if their company, department or unit is to improve, management must create an environment that is conducive to change.

A never-ending process

Continuous improvement means a constant striving to provide better service and a higher quality product. It requires a constant reassessment of current procedures and establishment of new goals for their betterment.

The quality management process for creating continuous improvement incorporates the use of feedback meetings. These meetings--held monthly, if possible, and attended by everyone from management to support staff--have two basic purposes: first, to inform all personnel about the results of the team's work; second, to provide management with recommendations for how to improve the way business is conducted. Consequently, everyone learns from these sessions. They learn which procedures do and do not work, which to continue following, and which to do away with.

To achieve continuous improvement, all employees need to recognize that everything about their organization--individual jobs, cross functional processes, etc.--must be examined and improved in a deliberate, patient and never-ending manner. When this attitude is present, the products and services that internal and external customers receive will continue to improve, as well. …

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