Continuous Improvement

Prerequisites

  • None

Course Outcome

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Be familiar with multiple continuous improvement tools stemming from Western and Japanese methodologies.
  • Understand how the continuous improvement process integrates within a project or organization culture.
  • Understand how the responsibilities and roles within continuous improvement are divided among workers and stakeholders.
  • Be knowledgeable of the history and evolution of continuous improvement since its initial adoption in the 1960s.

Why Learn about Continuous Improvement?

Continuous improvement is one of the most significant driving forces of Japanese management achievement for more than four decades in the business world. It has been implemented as a business strategy and management philosophy in many different contrasting organizations. The continuous improvement philosophy requires participation from all hierarchical levels of an organization and operates on a PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle. Improvement techniques are initially implemented by identifying areas of need within an organization. In other words, improvement activities are designed and implemented only after recognition of the problem occurs. Problems solved carry business processes to new standards, which is the starting point for the SDCA (Standardize-Do-Control-Act) cycle. In other words, solutions typically lead to the establishment of new standards. Thus we can conclude that continuous improvement philosophy is a critical aspect of a successful project or organization.  Much of the philosophy and steps of continuous improvement are applicable to space payload projects to help ensure a successful outcome.

Syllabus

  1. Introduction to Continuous Improvement
  2. Result Oriented Management
  3. Distinctive Points Between Breakthrough and Kaizen
  4. Quality Circles
  5. PDCA Cycle
  6. GEMBA Kaizen