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Continuous Improvement is a Myth

Continuously re-discovering the same improvements
over time is not real improvement.

The only way an organization can be a real learning institution is by preserving institutional knowledge as discoveries are made.


Without doing this, the same improvements will be continuously re-discovered by different operators over time.


Some lift is achieved by the discovery, but the information inside people’s minds that does not get written down remains tribal knowledge, and as soon as that person leaves the organization that knowledge leaves with them.


The next operator must start all over again, re-discovering the same improvements, just at a later time.


The team may experience some sence of accomplishment, but this is really a delusion. The real loss to the organization was previously making the same discovery but not writing it down.


Therefore it’s important to understand and distinguish between sustained continuous improvement--which is the key to operational excellence, verses only continuous improvement--which is a myth.


Important information, lessons learned, and process improvements should be stored and updated as process controls in a Configuration Management System (CMS). 

This is sustained continuous improvement and a critical key to accumulating effeciencies over time.


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