Learn the principles of continual improvement as part of a general understanding of the role of the quality function and as a foundation for future involvement in business improvement activities.

Recommended learning hours: 40

Unit aim: To provide understanding of the principles of continual improvement as part of a general understanding of the role of the quality function and as a foundation for future involvement in business improvement activities.

Assessment type: Examination

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand continual improvement and its application to business
  2. Understand the process for identifying and prioritizing areas for improvement.

Every successful candidate can at the end of this unit:

  1. Explain the principle of continual improvement
  2. Describe the benefits of continual improvement for an organization
  3. Describe the process of continual improvement from problem identification to problem prevention
  4. Outline methods an organization could use to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement
  5. List and explain the purpose of the basic tools of problem solving
  6. Use tools and methods to identify the root cause of a problem
  7. Identify and explain possible constraints to improvement.

Indicative content:

  • Principles and benefits
    • Principle of continual improvement
    • Different reasons for change such as problems in the process, changes in environment
    • Improvement project case studies showing benefits obtained.
  • The problem solving process
    • Application of a range of problem solving tools to suit the problem encountered
    • Methods for data analysis such as:
      • Paired ranking
      • Pareto analysis
      • Histograms
      • Stratification
      • Scatter plots.
    • Means of identification of causes of problems inherent in a process including:
      • Brainstorming
      • Cause and effect diagrams
      • Relationship charts
      • Process mapping
      • Process analysis
      • Spot or defect location charts.