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What is Continuous Improvement?

aka Continual Improvement, CI, or a Continuous Improvement Process

Definition of Continuous Improvement

an umbrella term applied to any management system that seeks to improve the quality, efficiency, speed and flexibility of any type of process, product, or service.


Continuous Improvement Tools

Download a couple dozen continuous improvement tools
for Lean Leadership and Continuous Process Improvement

Continuous Improvement templates

to empower ANY type of project team
to do any type of process improvement

Lean Transformation

The Roadmap for a Typical Lean Transformation

is focused on Lean Flow.

There are, however, many routes to the top of any mountain

and you can use your Systems2win templates to follow ANY path
that leads to continuous improvement

yellow brick road

Continuous Improvement Tools

Use your Tool Selection Matrix (1ToolSelection.xlsx)

Tool Matrix


to select the right Continuous Process Improvement Tool
for whatever you need to do next


Download free Tool Selection Matrix

Lean Management Systems

The most popular continuous improvement tools are the ones used to apply popular continuous improvement methodologies to directly improve a process,

but to be effective, every continuous improvement tool needs a corresponding lean management system.

And your Systems2win templates give you both:

  1. Tools for process improvement
  2. Tools for lean leadership

Every lean tool needs
a corresponding
Lean Coaching System

Download a dozen free templates for lean management

Continuous Improvement Tools for Standard Work

What's normal?

If you can't answer that question, then you can't improve.

In fact, you're going to have a rough time just preventing backsliding.


What's so wrong with backsliding into old habits?

If you don't have a foundation of standard work

then anything else that you attempt is simply a waste of everyone's time.

It's that simple. Standard work is that important.

Learn more about your Standard Work templates

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Map

Where should we start? What should we do next?

Which continuous improvement projects are going to have the greatest impact on our customer's satisfaction and our bottom line?

If you're not using your value stream mapping tools to answer those questions,

then how are you answering those questions?

Continuous Improvement Tools for Quality Improvement

If you searched the internet looking for tools to solve urgent quality problems,

then the truth is that you probably skipped one or more of the foundational lean systems described above.

The truth is that now is not the time to be searching for new tools and systems

If you need to put out an urgent fire,
then use whatever tools and systems you've got

The right thing to do is to bookmark this page, and then come back when the smoke clears

and then with a clear mind and fresh cup of coffee, start getting serious about instituting a lean culture

with lean systems to prevent future fires


Is it your job to put out fires?
or to prevent them?

Learn more about your DMAIC Tools, and the 7 Basic Tools of Quality



Standard Forms = Visual Language

After learning how to read a standard form once, a person can easily apply the new skill.

The meaning of complex data is discerned in a glance.

It is a language more quickly absorbed and more accurately conveyed.

When a whole organization shares this language, the impact is profound.

~ Mark Hamel — The Kaizen Event Fieldbook



Own all 150+ continuous improvement tools

to empower every team member


testimonial quote

Why Continuous Improvement Tools?

Process Improvement Tools

are part of the answer
for these questions

How to improve deliverability?

When your competitor wins your customers with faster delivery, lean tools become very interesting.

It is even more important, however, to truly understand the lean principles that underlie every lean tool.

How to improve reliability?

When we experience a quality crisis, then Six Sigma tools quickly rise up the priority list.

And you must know how and when to use them.

How to reduce costs?

Although process improvement will reduce costs, that should not be our reason for starting.

Please do not mislabel a desperate head count reduction program as "lean". If your leaders can't commit to a Job Security Promise, then it's not lean.

Lean transformation?

Before asking "How?", first ask, "Should we?"

Lean transformation is not for everyone.

Where to start? What next?

Paradox: Although it's purpose is to answer those questions, Hoshin Planning itself is not the place to start.

It's never too soon to start Value Stream Mapping.

How can CI be affordable?

One idea would be to force allow your people to scrounge or invent their own tools.

It usually isn't long before you begin to learn
the high costs of "free" tools.

How can we save time?

How much are you paying your lean leaders and consultants to try to re-invent inferior tools?

How to engage our people?

Lean flow isn't just about the flow of product. It is also about mental flow.

Studies show that people are measurably happier working in a lean environment.

How to coach our leaders?

Although your Systems2win templates support many diverse Lean Management Systems,

the truth always remains that a tool is just a tool unless you use it.

Which comes first?

Lean culture? or lean systems?


Process Improvement Tools

are a big part of the answer
for these questions

How can we standardize?

If standardization is a foundational principle of process improvement,

then why not use standardized, consistent tools for process improvement?

How can we learn faster?

When we learn how to find help & training for one Systems2win tool, we know how to find help & training for all 150+ templates.

How can we remember?

Now that the consultants are gone...

What were those instructions for how to use this tool again?

How to reduce training costs?

How much would it cost to bring those consultants back again?

and again... and again...

Wouldn't it be nice to have online training and videos? And free live training every month?

How to deploy globally?

Wow... we can click a button to switch between Chinese, German, Spanish, French, or Portuguese translations?

My homemade template didn't work in German Excel on Chinese Windows. Systems2win does.

How to have version control?

Jack's using the new version of our template. Jill's using the old one. Jane made her own.

Systems2win can sync our master templates so everyone is using the same version.

How to make our tools ours?

We can use everything we know about familiar Excel to make our templates our own.

Every time we upgrade, Systems2win automatically finds and transfers OUR personalizations!


Some of our people aren't so good with math.

Our Systems2win templates already have most math programmed for us, and we can use everything we know about familiar Excel to add our own lean metrics.

Who will support our tools?

Who will support this when Jim retires?

Who can call when we get stuck?

Maybe a better question might be:

Without lean tools and systems,
how is our lean culture going to stick?

Welcome to Systems2win — where our mission is

to help you continuously improve your systems for continuous improvement




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