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Continual Vs. Continuous Improvement

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  • #52344

    Emily
    Participant

    Does anyone have a good definition as to the differnece between continual improvement vs. continuous improvement?
    Thanks!
     

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    #184109

    TJC
    Member

    Hi Emily,
    Not sure WHY you ask the question….
    Anyway, no real difference – see comments from a dictionary below:
    “Although usage guides generally advise that continual may be used only to mean “intermittent” and continuous only to mean “uninterrupted,” the words are used interchangeably in all kinds of speech and writing with no distinction in meaning: The President’s life is under continual (or continuous) scrutiny. Continuous (or continual) bursts of laughter punctuated her testimony. The adverbs continually and continuously are also used interchangeably. To make a clear distinction between what occurs at short intervals and what proceeds without interruption, writers sometimes use the contrasting terms intermittent (intermittent losses of power during the storm) and uninterrupted (uninterrupted reception during the storm) or similar expressions. Continuous is not interchangeable with continual in the sense of spatial relationship: a continuous (not continual) series of passages.”
     

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    #184123

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Emily:  While I don’t disagree with TJC (there really isn’t any practical difference), some pickers of nits would say that continuous improvement is being conducted 100% of the time, and continual improvement looks at opportunities to improve and then addresses those. 
    A rose is a rose, even when the bee stings you on the nose!

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    #184124

    Robert S
    Member

    It’s analogous to making great strides and making large strides.

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    #184126

    Vila
    Participant

    Hi Emily,
    In the information technology area, around the ITIL processes there is diferentiation on both terms. on the ITIL Continual Service improvement book there is the following explanation:
    Continual versus continuous
    The Wikipedia Online Dictionary differentiates between the two terms.
    §  ‘Continuous’ is the stronger word, and denotes that the continuity or union of parts is absolute and uninterrupted; as, a continuous sheet of ice; a continuous flow of water.
    §  ‘Continual’, in most cases, marks a close and unbroken succession of things, rather than absolute continuity. Thus we speak of continual showers, implying a repetition with occasional interruptions.
    Hence the decision to use the word ‘continual’ for the title of this publication as well as throughout this publication has been made. An IT organization will not be ‘continuously’ improving itself seamlessly, but rather it will be cyclical in nature: there will be a period of stability followed by more improvements, then a new level of stability followed by more improvements and so on.
     
     

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    #184131

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    thanks for the more distinct description.

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    #184157

    Ratish Kumar
    Participant

    Continuous Improvement means improving an existing process/operation without any interruption whereas continual means the improvement in existing process upto a certain level & holding at that level so that the improvement can be stablised and then further improving from that stablized level.

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    #184158

    cobb
    Participant

    This is just ISO BS and adding to the confusion. There’s no real difference

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    #184160

    Cone
    Participant

    Amen brother.

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    #184169

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Gary: There are no silly questions if they are sincere.

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    #184175

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Mr./Ms. Moderator:  Please don’t edit my post if you’re going to let through that of which I commented.  Else, take appropriate action with the offender as well.

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    #184192

    Craig
    Participant

    There is nothing in this series of posts that will convince me to even care about continual improvment. No offense to anyone intended, but “Continuous Improvement” is all encompassing enough for me. 
    What’s the difference between 5S, 5S+, and 6S?  Has anyone gotten into that ridiculous debate?
    5S can be a great initiative.
    5S+ is still great if you want to add safety and I’m OK with that distinction. (Even though safety should always be a consideration)
    Now we have people who use the term 6S in place of 5S+. 
    Hence we have 6S intiatives and 6s  intitiatives.  Our children are being thrown into a confusing world.

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