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The 3-2-1 of Continuous Improvement 📈

Small, incremental changes in pursuit of your goals.

In the latest edition of the 3-2-1 series, you'll discover

- Three resources to delve deeper

- Two lessons from my own journey

- One technique to kickstart your improvement journey today

Let's dive in:

Continuous Improvement is the ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes. Even yourselves as individuals. It's about identifying and implementing small, incremental changes in pursuit of your goals.

A few more points:

- It is often used synonymously with the Japanese concept Kaizen (Meaning change for the better).

- Everyone is responsible. From those building a product ➡️ the team marketing it ➡️ the CEO. We all play a part.

- Continuous Improvement is a core tenet in many of the most widely used frameworks and methodologies across the globe.

Three Resources

1. "Atomic Habits - Tiny changes, remarkable results by James Clear".

"You don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your habits."

This book provides clear steps to develop habits that bring about meaningful change.

2. [Study] "Toyota Production System (TPS)"

The foundational study that introduced the world to lean manufacturing and the principles of continuous improvement.

Their focus on "Respect for humanity", customer centricity and elimination of waste makes it a seminal piece of literature on the subject.

3. TedX talk - Fooling Penn & Teller with LEAN Principles & Continuous Improvement.

Stuart MacDonald fools the renowned magicians and shares a behind the scenes take from the perspective of creative continuous improvement.

Two Lessons

1. Continuous Improvement isn't just about fixing what's broken.

Starting with waste or impediments is a great.


Don't forget to reflect on where you're already excelling. Amplifying what's working often yields greater value.

2. Continuous Improvement is [funnily enough] - Continuous.

You don't need to wait for a retrospective. Or for something to go wrong first.

It can be difficult enough remembering what we had for lunch yesterday. Let alone the challenges from last month.

Try mixing up your daily sync. Add a prompt which invites people to think about opportunities to improve.

Each day. Every day

Create a space for people to capture continuous improvement ideas as they happen. That could be a virtual whiteboard, a physical box, or even a Slack channel that you ping messages to.

One approach you can use immediately

1. The 8 Lean Wastes Retrospective

Use this template to identify the biggest wastes in your system. Then use the prompts to generate insights and experiments on how to reduce these wastes.


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