Business Acumen

Continuous improvement 

Continuous Improvement (CI) is an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes with positive change and employee involvement. There are a variety of CI methods being used in healthcare and higher education to create efficient processes, including but not limited to Lean and Six Sigma. Lean and Six Sigma have the same goal but vary in process: 

  • LEAN: Eliminate non-value-added activities and waste from a process. Save time and money by revising or cutting out steps that do not create value.
  • SIX SIGMA: Increase patient/student satisfaction and reduce errors. Improve a process.



This site will only focus on LEAN techniques by beginning with the question: How Do We Improve? Many organizations use Edward Deming’s Model for Improvement as the framework to guide change work.

The Model for Improvement* is a simple, yet powerful tool for accelerating continuous improvement. This model is not meant to replace change models that organizations may already be using, but rather to accelerate improvement. Learn about the fundamentals of the Model for Improvement and testing changes on a small scale using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles.

*Source: Langley GL, Moen R, Nolan KM, Nolan TW, Norman CL, Provost LP. The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers; 2009.

LEAN resources

"Think deeply about the purpose, process and people before beginning a LEAN project." -- Jim Womack, PhD

External resources for LEAN:   Lean Enterprise Institute

Internal resources for LEAN:
Step #1: Change Management

Leaders desiring to begin a Lean approach to eliminate waste must prepare their team for inevitable changes. Consult Pam Witter, our EI Change Management Specialist, 706-721-9629 for assistance. Click to see change document.

Step #2: Project Management & Lean Principles
We must give our employees tools to do more with less. Project Management techniques and the Lean process are 2 valuable tools. Consult Pam Witter, our EI Change Management Specialist, 706-721-9629 for assistance.

Step #3: Take Time to Educate Yourself
Higher Education
Lean Education

Transforming Higher Education

Kaizen Workshops in Higher Education

lean in healthcareLean Healthcare: Intro to Lean

Key Concept of Lean in Healthcare

Advanced Lean in Healthcare

Great Lean Healthcare Example