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A Continual Improvement Process that Really Works

Davis M. Woodruff, PE, CMC

Course Outline

This 1 hour course presents a strategy and plan for Continual Improvement that really works.  Practical how-to information for establishing your continual improvement process or for re-vitalizing a system that is bogged down in bureaucracy is presented in a way that makes sense for most businesses today.  This course will also provide guidance to help organizations that are either ISO 9001, 14001, 13485, TS 16949 or AS 9100 registered or seeking registration to meet the requirements for continual improvement found in the standards.

An effective Continual Improvement (C.I.) Process involves, at a minimum:         

  1. Top Management involvement
  2. Taking Care of the Basics
  3. Focus on the Processes
  4. Eliminating Waste
  5. Getting it Done with Teams

This course covers the following major topics:

Practical  examples are used throughout the course and a process analysis tool which may be adapted to any business or business model is included.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

Any professional who is involved in a continual improvement process or who needs to understand how to implement and sustain effective continual improvements.  Engineers, consultants and managers interested in understanding the CI process will benefit from this course.

Benefit to Attendees

Course participants will learn how to establish and sustain a Continual Improvement process that works and how to re-vitalize one that has become “bogged down” in bureaucracy.

Course Introduction

An effective Continual Improvement (C.I.) process is simply an organized approach to improving processes and reaping the rewards.  In many businesses today the leadership team is saying or thinking "this quality system (ISO 9001, Lean, Six Sigma, et al) stuff just hasn't yielded the results we expected."  Many businesses are concerned that process and quality improvement efforts have become "bogged down" in bureaucracy. 

The challenge for businesses today is to define, implement and sustain a simple Continual Improvement Process that enables your company to become the low cost, high quality leader in your industry.   

A simple plan for Continual Improvement (CI) that builds on effective quality management principles and philosophy should not "re-invent the wheel!"  Instead it should make sense for your business, yield measurable results and be easy to administer.

This 1 hour course presents a practical and common sense approach to understanding Continual Improvement.

Course Content

In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course content in PDF format:

A Continual Improvement Process that Really Works

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

A five step approach is presented that will enable organizations to effectively implement and monitor a continual improvement process that works. The six basic factors that must be considered are presented, tools for process analysis and for the P-D-C-A cycle are provided, the seven categories of waste are identified and the Top 10 requirements for effective teams are listed.  Embedded in the six basic factors the participant will find the 9 timeless principles of leadership, the 4 minimum requirements for effective maintenance documentation and the basis for fact based decision making.

Related Links and References

Taking Care of the Basics, 101 Success Factors for Managers by Davis Woodruff and available at and other sources


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.