Continuous improvement asks the organisation to continuously improve its processes already in place, while continual improvement asks the company to look outside its boundaries at the external competition and continuously benchmark itself to not only improve but also innovate its processes. Breakthrough improvement here forms a part of continual improvement.
Continuous improvement does ask the organisation to sustain its developments, whereas continual improvement asks to develop, implement and sustain and again repeat the cycle
Am I right in my understanding? Could you kindly point out more differences ?
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"Continuous improvement" and "Continual improvement" are often used interchangeably and shouldn't be used in that manner. Continuous indicates duration without interruption. Continual indicates d uration that continues over a long period of time, but with intervals of interruption.
Continuous improvement means that organizations are in a constant state of driving process improvements. This involves a focus on linear and incremental improvement within existing processes. Continual improvements means that organizations go through process improvements in stages and these stages are separated by a period of time. This period of time might be necessary to understand if the improvements did actually help the bottom line. In some cases, the results might take a while to come to realization.
Continual and continuous improvement have nothing to do with how the organization achieves the improvements but rather with whether the improvement is linear or not.