Continuous Quality Improvement Thinking

The genesis of Continuous Quality Improvement approaches lays with the work of 20th Century engineers such as W Edwards Deming and Dr Walter Shewhart. Their ideas have been developed and honed by manufacturing organisations such as Toyota and Motorola into methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma.

Service industries have subsequently taken these methodologies and successfully deployed them, and more recently healthcare and the public sector have begun to understand their potential. 

Continuous Quality Improvement is therefore a somewhat ‘catch all’ term for a range of different disciplines and methodologies including Lean, Six Sigma, Business Process Management, Performance Management, Compliance, Total Quality Management and others.  

Regardless of the specific method, the goal is always improving the delivery of ‘customer value’ and getting better all the time.  These are achieved through people being curious about the work they do and seeking and taking opportunities to improve, whilst believing that there is always a better way than the one we currently know.

There are a multitude of organisations who have their own version of a Continuous Improvement methodology or approach, both inside and outside of the NHS.

We have taken the learning from many of these organisations and methodologies and used it to help refine our own Continuous Quality Improvement approach, which you can read more about here

You can access lots of information about Continuous Quality Improvement thinking and techniques etc. in the Knowledge Centre.