Continuous Improvement is the ongoing improvement of processes, products, programs and services through incremental (progressive small steps) and breakthrough (giant step) actions.
5 “S” – A set of workplace organization rules designed to increase efficiency and help enable lean manufacturing, as defined by:
- Sort – eliminate materials that do not belong in the work area;
- Straighten – arrange tools and other items for ease of use;
- Shine (or scrub)- maintain high level of cleanliness;
- Standardize- create a systematic plan to perform the first three steps;
- Sustain- devise methods to turn performing the steps on an ongoing basis into a habit.
Six Sigma Practices – Problems and processes are analyzed statistically to improve performance using tools such as Fishbone Diagrams, Control Charts, Pareto Charts, and Histograms.
Root Cause Analysis – A process improvement tool that examines the individual processes within a system, identifies the control or decision points, and uses a series of why? questions to determine the reasons for variations in the process paths.