Continuous Improvement (CI)

'Focus has empowered us by giving us the tools to keep on examining and improving on our work environment and processes ... to consider things afresh.'

Bodleian Library staff member

What is Continuous Improvement?

Continuous Improvement (CI) is an approach to improving processes through repeated, small, positive changes. CI is an iterative cycle often described by the phrase: Plan, Do, Check, Adjust. Without expectation to address everything at once or attain the optimal solution first time, CI feels different to ‘big bang’ change. CI makes the journey of change easier to begin, less risky and less disruptive, because small improvements can usually be readily identified, quickly agreed and easily incorporated.

Continuous Improvement is a mind-set that anyone can adopt – supported by a skills-set that anyone can learn. CI gives us all the power to make our daily working lives better in tangible ways.

How is University of Oxford embracing Continuous Improvement?

CI programmes are well established across the Higher Education sector, and University of Oxford has committed in its Strategic Plan to embedding a culture of Continuous Improvement across our institution. Focus is at the heart of enabling this aspiration.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the University’s need to be agile, open minded and responsive in evolving new ways of working. This has fostered an appetite for change and a sense of possibility.

Benefits of Continuous Improvement

The benefits that Focus is helping the University achieve include:

  • Enhanced staff / customer satisfaction
  • Saved time
  • Reduced cost – or cost avoided
  • Lowered risk
  • Improved data sources
  • Improved compliance
  • Greater adaptability to external change

You can read more about Focus benefits here.