New model for creating innovative solutions in continuous improvement environments


  • Vasco Soares
  • Helena V. G. Navas Universidade NOVA de Lisboa





Nowadays, the competition factor between companies has been essential in their path to innovation. So, firms try to evolve through continuous improvement methodologies that can significantly improve their activities´ efficiency as well as gain more and more the trust of customers. The Lean philosophy, the FMEA methodology and the TRIZ methodology can help companies to achieve these goals.

This article is intended to propose a new model called Continuous Improvement Integrated Model with Innovation and Management (CI-IMIM). It promotes a strong alliance between the areas of continuous improvement and innovation as it is specialized in the creation and prioritization of innovative solutions. The FMEA methodology (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) focuses on the analysis and prioritization of problems depending on the underlying risk, the TRIZ (Inventive Problem-Solving Theory) contradictions matrix (CM) allows the creation of differentiating solutions from the establishment of technical contradictions, the GUT Matrix (Severity, Urgency and Trend) helps in prioritizing solutions, the Brainstorming focuses on screening solutions through feedback gathered from workers ‘point of view and the Lean philosophy works as the conducting wire of the entire model. This model is then applied in a real automobile company. Digital Kanban, Visual Management and 5S stand out here as Lean tools derived from the proposed model. It is also important to mention that the persuasion and workers´ motivation capacity is crucial.

Conclusions show a significant improvement of 8 out of 10 KPI´s. This proves the practical viability of the new model. The mudas reduction in 15,1% and the 2,2% PCE improvement are KPI improvement examples. For future PDCA cycles, regular follow-up meetings about the studied KPI´s, a bigger task informatization in the company and the application of the Lean tools Mizusumashi, Andon e Heijunka are suggested.