Chapter 2

Process Improvement Fundamentals

This chapter presents some of the fundamental concepts of process improvement including defining the motivation for change, identifying process improvement barriers and enablers, and selecting improvement approaches. An overview of the Plan–Do–Check–Act (PDCA) approach generally favored by ISO standards and the SEI’s IDEALSM approach is provided. The use of the IDEAL model as a process improvement roadmap is presented and concepts associated with using multiple frameworks are introduced.


Process improvement efforts are started for many reasons. Traditionally, the primary goal of process improvement has been to improve efficiency. Improved efficiency, or productivity, allows an organization ...

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