Agile Principle

Continuous Improvements
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Source: Leankit

Alternative name(s)

Rapid Improvement
Value stream mapping


Agile Manifesto


Continuous improvement is derived from the manufacturing industry as a method that aims to help identify available opportunities and also to aim to streamline work being done and reduce any waste. This practice is evident in Scrum when the team conducts a Sprint review at the end of an iteration and evaluate the way they work including identifying what has been done well and what needs to be improved before they move to the next iteration . Then teams brainstorm actions for the areas that need improvement and plan the improvement.
Team can discuss with Product Owners to add improvement work in product backlog and agree implementation plan based on prioritization of overall work items. In addition, to achieve continuous improvement, it is necessary that a Scrum team needs to maintain standard of product and process .


The successful Continuous Improvement initiative depends on different factors, which include organisational structure, leadership and organisational values. There are two main sets of values that underline continuous improvement. One of them is driving values and the other one is enabling values ( Jabnoun , 2001). However, common feedback from developers is that agile development is rather intense because they have to complete each feature within an iteration and move to the next iteration. It can be quite mentally tiring for the team. It is necessary that an agile team finds sustainable pace (Waters, 2007).

Forbes (2015) identifies some factors that may come about when a company adopts a culture of continuous improvement and this include the fact that one size does not fit all , thus this should be tailored for different processes in the organization and monitored regularly for improvements. Also dwelling to much on continuous improvement may make people forget on what they are actually aiming for thus a balance has to be maintained and regular reference to project objectives done.

Links to other agile principles or practices

Welcome changing requirements , even late in the development This involves aiming to add on any requirements that the customer requires and this should help in making the product better than how it was before and should always be the case to aim for continuous improvement.
At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
this is evident in Scrum during review meetings where the team assess the work done , what went well what did not go well and how they can aim to improve themselves in the second iteration thus enhancing continuous improvement .
Regular Intervals Teams need to reflect on how they can become more effective at regular intervals and this is evident in scrum during review meetings before next iteration.

Links to PMO knowledge areas (KAs)

Project Quality Management By implementing quality policies, processes can be improved which can help project to make improvements continuously.
Change Management Change management helps the project meet expectations of stakeholders and the changes are done continuously through continuous improvement
Project Stakeholders Management If this project requirements change through feedback from stakeholders, continuous improvement helps to keep up with this changes so as to ensure project success.

Examples of use outside IT domain

Manufacturing Continuous improvement is used in the manufacturing industry as a method that aims to help identify available opportunities and also to aim to streamline work being done and reduce any waste also called kaizen.
Education use of feedback from students about the services offered and reviewing this to make future changes to offer better quality service is application of continuous improvement
Healthcare Continuous improvement is used in both clinical effectiveness assessment and quality improvement by assessing the current service being offered and finding ways to offer it in a better way through customer feedback and analysis of quality process


Kerzner,H (2009). Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. 10th ed. London: John Wiley & Sons

External links (alternative name) (source ,other agile principles and practices,manufacturing ) management) management) management) (healthcare) 2015)

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