Continuous Improvement Case Studies

Please find below a sampling of ASQ case studies featuring more than a dozen organizations that have implemented continuous improvement methodologies to achieve great success. To read more examples of success in quality, please visit the ASQ Knowledge Center.

Continuous Improvement at Two Companies (PDF, 362 KB) Todd Schneider shares lessons learned from helping to integrate continuous improvement into the operations of two companies. Examples of improvement projects at his current employer, Serigraph, show how teams used Six Sigma to improve yield by more than 20 percent, saving $40,000 in 10 months, and improve vendor material management, saving $192,000 per year. June 2011

Electric Utility Deploys Powerful Approach for Continuous Improvement (PDF, 313 KB) The Information Technology and Business Integration (IT&BI) Business Unit at Southern California Edison launched a three-year plan to increase visibility, awareness, and focus on continuous improvement efforts to better meet client needs. August 2010.

The Challenge of Overcoming Success (PDF, 428 KB) A combination of theory of constraints, Six Sigma, and lean helped a DNA testing laboratory take a holistic approach to process improvement. Redesigning the workflow and laboratory layout and introducing new operating rules increased capacity without increasing costs. March 2010

Can a Fishbone Diagram Stop a Bully? (PDF, 373 KB) In Community Consolidated School District 15, elementary students use quality tools to set goals, track academic progress, and even address behavioral issues such as playground bullying. September 2009.

PDSA: A Road Map to Improved Writing Skills (PDF, 340 KB) Using the plan, do, study, act cycle, Winston Campus Elementary in Palatine, Illinois, boosted sixth grade student writing test scores by 36 percent. September 2009.

Former Baldrige Recipient Rekindles Its Quality Fire (PDF, 256 KB) Since Community Consolidated School District 15 in suburban Chicago received the Baldrige award in 2003, front-line staff members have continued the improvement effort by relying on quality tools such as the plan, do, study, act model. August 2009.

Quality Club Teaches Today’s Learners to Become Tomorrow's Leaders (PDF, 186 KB) Students who participate in a quality club at Hunting Ridge School in Palatine, Illinois, learn continuous improvement methods and then conduct training sessions for their peers. August 2009.

Quality Engrained in Culture at Iowa Hospital (PDF, 250 KB) The plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle, data-based decision making, and lean methodologies are part of the quality culture at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. In 2008, the hospital received a Silver Award in the Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence program. June 2009.

Rural Hospital Thrives With Continuous Improvement and Innovation (PDF, 210 KB) High patient satisfaction resulted from a culture change at Wright Medical Center. They shifted to a more open communication model and a pillar system that focuses on six areas of performance improvement. The hospital is now a destination of choice for healthcare in north central Iowa, with some of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the nation. April 2009.

Medical Device Manufacturer's Continuous Improvement Approach Reduces Errors in Records (PDF, 236 KB) Using a three-tiered approach that included technology-, process-, and people-related solutions, MEDRAD reduced errors in product history records by 26 percent. February 2009.

Match the Change Vehicle and Method To the Job (PDF, 260 KB) Process improvement teams must understand the definitions of the methodology, tools and change vehicles available to them, because mismatches can be fatal to a quality improvement program.

From Continuous Improvement to Continuous Innovation (PDF, 95 KB) A close-up look at the concepts of continuous improvement, continuous innovation, discontinuous innovation, incrementalism, exploitation and exploration.

Continuous Improvement: Methods and Madness (PDF, 28 KB) Employee involvement, daily and evolutionary improvement, and focusing on product features are all characteristics of continuous improvement.

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