Continuous improvement at UWA consists of processes to transform our culture, maximise client value and grow the University.

Five steps to continuous improvement

Continuous improvement helps us to maintain a high-performing culture. As such, we have adopted DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) as the tool for how we will continuously improve our services.

This creates a consistent language and way of doing things and increases predictability in improving, developing and stabilising organisational processes and implementing workable solutions.

DMAIC is a five-step process and each step can be activated using a set of tools and techniques. The purpose of each step is explained in detail below.

The Continuous Improvement Project Workbook can be used by staff to track and guide them through each step of an improvement project.

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Improve
  • control

Articulate the organisational problem, goal(s), potential resources, project scope and high-level project timeline. Write down what you know, clarify facts, set objectives and form the project team, then ensure your goals are consistent with client demands and University strategy.


Collect data to establish performance baselines as the basis for improvement. The performance metric baselines from the measure phase are then compared with the performance metric at the end of the project to determine whether significant improvement has been made.


Identify and validate relationships and root cause for elimination. A large number of potential root causes of the project problem are identified via root-cause analysis.


Identify, test and implement a solution to the problem. This requires devising creative solutions to eliminate the key root causes in order to fix and prevent process problems.


Sustain the gains. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability, transition to full implementation and then measure the improvements and institute control mechanisms to ensure continued success. This can include updating documents, organisational process and training records.