The steps in the continuous improvement process involve specifying a single area in which to focus, determining the methods for improvement, making small changes and measuring the results. The process repeats many times to measure the success or failure of different changes in order to achieve the highest levels of improvement within that field.
Many businesses and individuals within a business setting use the continuous improvement process to ensure a constant system of evaluation, change and improvement across many different areas. The process starts out with setting parameters that include the specific factor to improve, such as the customer service response system or a company's sales figures, in order to figure out the ideal possible improvements. From here, the plan calls for the creation of specific steps to change the situation, which should include factors for measuring its impact on the overall environment. If the changes are not measurable, there is no way for to tell if they have any effect and thus no way to make any positive changes.
After observing the new situation with the changes in place, the plan calls for a reflective period to figure out if there is any actual change. It also involves analyzing the impact in order to make it a sustainable practice, incorporate it into the existing processes and recreating it in other areas if possible. The plan then repeats again with new changes, goals and results.