The title of this piece is a phrase you hear a lot in consulting, software development, higher education, and basically any other highly complex process environment. When I hear the phrase “continuous improvement,” I generally think it means three things:
- The speaker acknowledges that the thing being “continuously improved” is broken.
- The speaker confesses that not only is it broken, it’s so badly broken that it will never be fixed.
- Look for a lot of half-assed changes to try to fix the problems, but never really succeed.
Maybe that’s a little too cynical. I certainly hope it’s too cynical for my “continuous improvement” efforts on this site!
Improving the site
One of the nice things about writing a personal web log is that, at least until you get linked by Dave, you know everyone in your audience. I’ve been taking advantage of that to gather feedback from people about how the site is working for them. I’ve heard two pieces of feedback: the navigation can be confusing, and the email options don’t work. I’m trying to address both of those:
- Navigation: I’ve just added a new help page to the site, accessible both from the FAQ and from the side links on each page. It explains how the site works, in concept and in how you click from page to page. I’m also trying to improve how things on the site are labeled.
- Email: I think that I didn’t understand how the email bulletins feature was supposed to work. I’m changing the process for how I write the front page of this site. After I write a page, I’ll manually send out a bulletin with the contents of the page. If that works, this will be the first page update you’ll get by email. Remember, you can turn bulletin notification on and off using your Preferences.
This site is definitely a work in progress, so please give feedback either to me directly or on the site. If you have problems with the site navigation or have an idea of how I could improve it, or if the email bulletins don’t work, let me know! As Dave Winer, the developer behind the Manila platform used to say, “Dig we must!” It’s a phrase I prefer to “continuous improvement” because it’s more concise: there’s work to be done! I’ve got to do it! I’m working on it now!