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In No Uncertain Terms
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In No Uncertain Terms

Making the case for replacing the term ‘continual improvement’ with ‘continuous improvement’ in the ISO 9000 series

Publication:
Quality Progress
Date:
May 2019
Issue:
Volume 52 Issue 5
Pages:
pp. 18-24
Author(s):
Reber, Michael F.
Organization(s):
Yorozu Corp., Yokohama, Japan

Abstract

The difference between continuous improvement and continual improvement might seem insignificant, but the definitions of both continuous and continual point to subtle variations. Continual might mean something that can happen with recurrence, whereas continuous suggests constantly ongoing activity. The ISO standards use both continuous and continual improvement in the language. Continuous improvement has philosophical roots and is used more widely, so a change in the standards language might be beneficial.

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