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PMP® Exam Quality Primer: Quality Concepts – Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) (#7 in the series PMP® Exam Quality Primer)
By Samuel T. Brown, III, PMP, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor

CPI is a concept that recognizes that the world is constantly changing and any process that is satisfactory today may not provide the same value tomorrow. CPI is a holistic approach that is applicable to projects because it supports quality goals by making gradual improvements in processes and sub-processes that tend to repeat themselves over several projects, or often within a project. The CPI procedure is as follows:

  1. Define and standardize (sub)processes: Document current understanding; maintain and update formal standards; measure performance against current standards.
  2. Assess (sub)process performance: Measure process; assess performance against goals and customer needs; select improvement targets.
  3. Improve (sub)processes: Use teams for shared processes; pursue individual improvement; follow improvement cycle (similar to the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle) of
    • Standardize
    • Do
    • Check
    • Act
  4. Measure progress: Measure performance against goals and standards; evaluate customer satisfaction, evaluate method and document results; continuously improve.

About the Author

Samuel Brown, PMP, is a course developer and instructor for Global Knowledge with 25 years experience teaching. In addition, he has provided project management consulting services for a variety of clients including GE, Glaxo Smith-Klein, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Michelin Tire, and IBM.

This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at www.globalknowledge.com/business for free white papers, webinars, and more.

© Copyright 2008, Global Knowledge. All rights reserved.

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