Once again, the question Christopher posed on LinkedIn was: When does continual improvement actually begin?
A woman named, Uttia, said the following and I thought her answer was good:
First you need a process. Then you determine what you need to achieve in that process, then you need to set objectives in that process to achieve that. Then you need to set your objective and a proposed course of action to achieve that objective.
All objectives should have a time frame and should be quantifiable (measurable in percentage of figures, etc.).
Once this is done, you set review date to analyze, monitor and measure your objective. This is where your continual improvement comes in; through review you are able to understand your present situation – whether you have achieved your target – if yes, then how you can improve it further. If you have not achieved the target, then do the root cause analysis of the reason why you have not achieved it, after identifying the root cause you implement corrective action or preventive action to rectify that error.
Every objective or target (whether achieved or not achieved) should be reviewed periodically to enable continual improvement of the processes.