Continuous Improvement

Curated resources

Curated resources will be added here based on recommendations from the community

Help Needed

What resources have we missed that you find valuable? Let the community know by adding a reply below

Have you used any of these resources? Let the community know what you think of them by voting and commenting on the replies below, or by writing a review in Reviews

Disagree or have some strong opinions on our curated list? Please change it - this is a Wiki topic that’s open to everyone to edit - or just add a comment.

If you want to learn from the people that created the concept of Continuous Improvement, then you will find yourself going back to the Toyota Production System (TPS), developed in the Toyota Manufacturing plants in Japan after the end of the second world war.

The practice known as “Kai’zen” is well documented by the founding engineer that developed TPS (following the leadership of Sakichi Toyoda), Taiichi Ohno; in his books Workplace Management and TPS Beyond Large Scale Prodcution

Both books describe the wider working practices of TPS, but define the importance of the underlying principles of Kaizen.

If you want to read about the Toyota Production System (TPS) practice of Kai’zen (Continuous Improvement) specifically then Shiego Shingo’s book, Kaizen and the art of Creative Thinking was popularised by the introduction of TPS to the US Motor Manufacturing in the 1980s.

Another insightful read of the japanese approach to removing wasteful practices and making continuous small and incremental change.

Added Bonus: you’ll also learn the meaning of Yokoten too!

Understanding the importance of Continuous Improvement to the flow of value from a supplier to a customer, and the need for adaptivity; is critical to modern organisations, Governments and the wider Public Service.

Having a single place where all these concepts are brought together, with tangible ideas on HOW to implement these changes is invaluable. In addition to the content available here, then The Flow System Playbook written by John R Turner, Nigel Thurlow and Brian Rivera is a great reference guide for anyone looking to continuously improve.

Improving your current processes, procedures and reducing friction between your organisational silos can be difficult; knowing where to start and what the potential benefits might be, often lead to difficult discussions and questions on why you might want to challenge the ‘status quo’ in many organisations, Government Departments and Public Sector organisations.

So a great way to align everyone on the need to focus on the flow of value to the customer, with supporting empirical data is Value Stream Mapping.

If you want only one book, that describes the benefits and provides step-by-step guidance on how to conduct Value Stream Mapping exercises, then you need to read Karen Martin and Mike Osterling’s book simply entitled Value Stream Mapping

I guarantee you will be surprised by the inefficiencies highlighted by the Activity Ratio Metrics you produce.

The value of Continuous Improvement to any team or organisation can be found in the previous recommendations; but understanding the impact of the changes in your own business context, the unique environment you are working in and then making decisions to act and make the next change, by using what you’ve learnt and the value you’ve measured by making a each change; also requires continuous observation and orientation.

To maximise the impacts of your CI objectives you should also consider learning about the OODA Loop (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Act). Developed by John Boyd, a US Air Force Military Strategist, it is a central pillar of combat operations. But it is just as important to Organisation Change - especially CI.


Understanding how OODA, Continuous Improvement, Team Science, Decision Making and Complexity Theory all come together then I will always recommend Brain ‘Ponch’ Rivera and the AGLX Team website as a great starting point.

And the Flow System playbook - The Flow System Playbook