General FAQs

​​What is continuous improvement?

Continuous improvement is about solving problems. Typically, improvement projects save time, reduce frustration, or cut unnecessary costs. 

​​What's the difference between continuous improvement, quality improvement, and Lean?

As far as we're concerned, these words all mean the same thing. What's most important is that you're reducing frustration, saving time, or eliminating unnecessary costs. 

​Will I lose my job as a result of an improvement effort?

​No. The purpose of continuous improvement is to make jobs more productive and satisfying for employees. By applying continuous improvement principles, redundant and frustrating work can be eliminated, allowing time for more meaningful work. Additionally, it's important to be candid about what problems you see on the job so that those problems can be addressed. 

​How can I get involved?

A good first step is to contact your agency's continuous improvement contact. These individuals coordinate improvement efforts and serve as a resource for employees who participate in improvement efforts.


What methodology should I use?

If you're reorganizing a workspace, the 5S approach makes sense to use. Otherwise, we recommend using what's most popular in your organization since all other approaches are nearly identical. For more information, please see our Methodologies page.