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What is the difference between Continual and Continuous improvement?

continuous and continual improvement
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We, humans, live in the twentieth century and there is a lot of competition among the individuals in every field. So we humans should improve ourselves by learning new things or analyzing the things that we are doing. Improvement is a common concept in everyone’s life where we take acumen of new things to achieve an upgraded personality and it is the same with the various organizations and industries. The organization had to improve various things to sustain in the competition. And the types of improvement can be Continual and Continuous improvement. So, let’s learn about these types of improvement in detail.

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What is meant by the term Continuous Improvement?

In this type of improvement, we generally improve the processes in the project continuously without taking any break in between the stages of the processes. Hence we do not interrupt and stop but improve the process continuously. To understand better, we can take the example of the growth of a plant which grows continuously without any interruption. We cannot use this type of improvement in the organizations and industries because in the industries, we meet with many obstructions and we had to stop somewhere at any step.

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What is meant by Continual Improvement?

In this type of improvement, we improve the processes, but we stop after one repetition of the improvement process. we make phases of the processes in which after completion of each phase, we stop, study, and analyze the improvement of the processes to standardize it. Standardization is the main process in which the process is standardized so it does not reflect the previous conditions.

In this type of improvement, we use the PDCA model for the improvement of the processes and then use the SDCA cycle which is important for the standardization of the processes. In organizations and industries, we mainly use this type of improvement where we improve any products or processes and then stop, study, and analyze it. And after that, we standardize it. If the process is not standardized, the previous conditions may arise in the future and it can arise more issues.

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The organization that is certified with the ISO Certification uses standard concepts and improves the processes in the organizations. So, one organization must apply for ISO Certification for better improvement.

The continual and continuous both the terms are different from each other but many of the people in the industry interpret these two words as the same. So if one person is working in the industry then he should know the difference between these both kinds of improvements.

There is a concept called Kaizen in which we focus on waste reduction and it is also used in many of the organizations for improvement in the process. The Kaizen concept says that if you do not standardize the processes then it can be a waste of time and effort.


These both the terms are different from each other and they should not be interpreted as the same in the organizations. The ISO certified organization improves continually by using various methods hence you should also apply for ISO Certification in India to develop your organization.

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