CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTTHROUGH PROJECTS
“…everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement.”
In order to compete in today’s marketplace—much of which is overseas—a companymust have a means of continuously improving its products, services, and organi-zational processes. In order to bring about such improvements, an interdisciplinaryand interorganizational approach is required. The use of project teams has helpedin the conceptualization and realization of enterprise improvements. As the enterprisedevelops its future through the use of the “choice elements,” described in Chap. 1,and ongoing changes happen in its social, competitive, technological, political,and economic “systems,” a philosophy of how to deal with change—sometimesminor change—is needed. Project management can help in this regard.In this chapter, some examples of change brought about by project teams willbe indicated. Survival through small changes will be described through managementinnovation, continuous improvements in productivity, and product quality throughprojects. Trendsetters that set a pace for change will be described, as well as therole of product integrity. Continuous improvement in manufacturing through theuse of productivity gains, manufacturing philosophies, computer-integrated manu-facturing, and just-in-time manufacturing will be provided. The basic message of thechapter is that projects, although small in nature (as described in Chap. 3), can beused as an organizational strategy for continuous improvements in organizations.
19.2 WHY CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT?
Continuous improvement of products, services, and organizational processes isbecoming the hallmark for success in the global marketplace. Yet there still remainsthe opportunity for major technological breakthroughs—even of the transistor, jet