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Continuous Improvement Essay

2735 words - 11 pages

Continuous Improvement


Researchers: David Smith

Title: Continuous Improvement

Year: 2011
“Life-cycle analysis is the total phases through which an item passes from the time it is initially developed until the time it is either consumed in use or dispose of as being excess to all known material requirements.”(Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 2006). Continuous improvement is defined as an effort to improve products, services or processes. (American Society for Quality, 2011) It also has tools like systems, methods, and guidelines that create or help maintain the ongoing process of improvement. Many companies have turn to continuous ...view middle of the document...

”(Jensen, Hoffman, Møller, Schmidt, 1997) During this process, companies are trying to find a way to cut cost and continuous improvement is a way to do so. Whether it’s a small business or corporation, they want to increase their profit margin. Some methods that have been successful at creating this type of success are Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, and Kaizen. Each of these processes is used the most in the world based on the history behind them. Once implemented in a company, the culture changes for the better in order to fully support the new program. When the companies fully embrace the new program, the life-cycle perspective is formulated to be more efficient and productive. These continuous improvement tools allows companies to be more proficient in their life-cycle analysis programs which makes the profit to increase and waste to decline in leaps and bounds. The companies have the tools to improve their companies but they must know their goals in order to choose the correct improvement process.

Some researchers believe Total Quality Management (TQM) was created by W. Edward Deming but decades before Dr. W. Shewhart many statistical applications that applied to the management of quality. In 1920, Dr. Shewhart developed the first control chart explaining how variation in production leads to variation in product. “This method focused on product and the detection and control of quality problems, involves testing samples and statistically infers compliance of all products, carried out at stages through the production process and relies on trained production personnel and quality control professionals.”(Business Performance Improvement Resources, 2010) The U.S. sent experts to Japan after World War II to help rebuild their economy. “The Civil Communications Section (CCS) developed a Management Training Program that taught statistical control methods as part of the overall material. This course was developed and taught by Homer Sarasohn and Charles Protzman in 1949 and 1950. Sarasohn recommended W. Edwards Deming for further training in Statistical Methods. The Economic and Scientific Section (ESS) group was also tasked with improving Japanese management skills and Edgar McVoy is instrumental in bringing Lowell Mellen to Japan to properly install the Training Within Industry (TWI) programs in 1951. Prior to the arrival of Mellen in 1951, the ESS group had a training film done to introduce the three TWI "J" programs (Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations) - the film was titled "Improvement in 4 Steps" (Kaizen eno Yon Dankai). This is the original introduction of "Kaizen" to Japan. For the pioneering, introducing, and implementing Kaizen in Japan, the Emperor of Japan awarded the Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure to Dr. Deming in 1960.”(Business Performance Improvement Resources, 2010) In the 70s, Japan refined the Total Quality Control process making it companywide quality philosophy. This change made...

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