10.6.1 What is Continuous Improvement?

Continuous Improvement Process (otherwise known as CIP or CI) is a management process whereby delivery processes (customer valued) are being constantly checked, evaluated and improved accordingly, with regards to efficiency, their level of effectiveness and flexibility.1
The term alone implies that the process is ongoing. CI is focused on human-centered management and thus, a capable SME manager should be able to identify the need to continuously improve an enterprise´s competitiveness to ensure growth, profit and secure its place in the market. In TQM, CI stands for the core activities through which an enterprise can maintain a competitive edge.2

1 Wikipedia, Continuous Improvement, Viewed September 2009.
2 ISO9000 based advanced quality approach, for continuous improvement of manufacturing processes, Deeb Salah - Iung Benoît, p. 1.