PDCA/SDCA Cycles - These cycles are used to assure the continuity of the company policy of maintaining and improving standards:
Plan - Do - Check - Act
Standardized - Do - Check - Act
Each cycle has its key benefit to the process:
PDCA - Improves the process
SDCA - Stabilizes the process
Putting Quality First - Of the primary goals of quality, cost and delivery, quality must have the highest priority. All else is secondary for without quality the rest will not matter.
Talking with Data - In order to make solid process improvements relevant data must be kept and analyzed to assure that recognized problems can be properly addressed.
Next Process is the Customer - It is important to not only look at the company's customer as your customer, but also the next process after yours in the series within the company. Remember you have both internal and external customers.
Another simple way of looking at Continuous Improvement:
Learn the fundamentals of the process, Practice those fundamentals every day, find ways to Improve on the techniques of the process and then Perfect them, making your own company standard of excellence.