Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) might sound like a nebulous term. In reality, however, CPI is intensely action oriented. It centers around eliminating waste by making what adds value obvious and reducing everything else. Although the discipline of CPI applies to work processes, I’ve found the same discipline applies to life.
The overarching personal mind-set:
· Our purpose in this life is to become the best version of ourselves.
· How well we achieve this purpose is measured by our effect on those around us.
Basic tenets of CPI:
· Respect: Taking every stakeholders' problems seriously, and making every effort to build mutual trust. Active respect means taking responsibility for other people reaching their objectives.
· Teamwork: Developing individuals through team problem-solving. The idea is to develop and engage people through their contribution to team performance.
The collective mind-set of CPI:
· Challenge: Having a long-term vision of the challenges that need to be faced.
· Kaizen: Understanding that no process can ever be thought to be perfect. Operations must be improved continuously, constantly striving for innovation and evolution.
· Genchi Genbutsu: Going to the source to see the facts as clearly as possible for oneself, and then directing the processes based on those clear facts.
Using the tools of CPI (like 6-S, Andon, Just-In-Time) doesn’t necessarily mean you are practicing the discipline. Organization-wide CPI requires leadership and the overarching mind-set outlined above.