There are two main approaches to improving processes and systems: continuous improvement and continual improvement. While both are important for achieving success, they are different in their execution and objectives.
Continual improvement refers to a process that is repeated and has pauses in between repetitions. This approach is phased, with improvements being made, then a break to measure and analyze the success, and further improvements can be made.
On the other hand, continuous improvement is an uninterrupted flow of improvement. It is a sustained process of development, where the focus is on constantly looking to make improvements.
In summary, while both approaches are important, the critical difference is that continuous improvement is an uninterrupted flow of improvement. In contrast, a continual improvement is a phased approach with pauses between repetitions.