7 Questions You Need To Ask Before Starting Continuous Improvement Project

I have seen lot of Continuous Improvement (CI) Projects or Kaizen events started with lot of enthusiasm but more than often done badly,  and then the whole enthusiasm fads away…

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Why does this happen?

Continuous Improvement

It happens mainly because project scope or problem statement is not defined clearly, or in other words it is unclear that “how success is look like”.

Since the sponsor wants it to look good. So they try to fudge the outcome or results in strange places with often obscure methods. It might look good for short while but it doesn’t effectively work.

Fail in long term!

If you can as Continuous Improvement orSupply Chain project manager can answer these questions with some detail then the problem you are focusing on is worth spending the time and resources on:


  1. Are there any Customer Satisfaction and/or financial savings?
  2. What is the Scope of the project: The project shall be completed in 4-6 months?
  3. What is the preliminary time schedule of your Continuous Improvement project?
  4. Is the problem in focus shall be a recurring event?
  5. Can a cross functional team coherently define the problem?
  6. Is financial or operational data is available to track soft or hard saving(s) or operational improvement?
  7. Can project charter with following details can be filled in?
  • Project title
  • Problem statement
  • Linkage to business
  • Defect Definition/Critical To Qquality Measurable
  • Definition of project scope
  • Project deliverables (Cost / Quality / Timing)
  • Enablers
  • Performance metrics (present and Expected)
  • Scheduled meetings time scales
  • Sponsor
  • Expected start and closure date


There are also various other criteria points specific to your business which could be pre-requisite for starting a Continuous Improvement project, which you can include in this list. Always think of the end goal you want to achieve, and you will know where you need to improve and what goals you can achieve with specific Continuous Improvement activity.

Please do let me know if you like additional questions in this list. And when you do decide to embark new Continuous Improvement product, you might find these 10 Improvement Tools Every Supply Chain Professional Should Know About useful!


To find more information/thoughts and experiences relating to supply chain management , logistics and procurement check out my blog & subscribe to stay tuned with updates!


  • Art of Supply Chain

    The 1st question is the key!
    If the answer is no, drop it! 🙂
    People may start these projects just to have done a “project”, but they may not have a real outcome. These projects should have a purpose, otherwise it is loss of time and energy. If the project members do not see any purpose in the project they really feel demotivated.

    • muddassirism

      Hi Art of Supply Chain, I surely agree with you here.

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