Manage innovation and continuous improvement


This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to sustain and develop an environment in which continuous improvement, innovation and learning are promoted and rewarded.

It applies to people with managerial responsibilities who aim to build a better and more effective work environment. Continuous improvement and innovation have links with the model of the learning organisation and people working at this level play an important role in building the culture, values and attitudes of the organisation.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Review programs, systems and processes

1.1 Establish strategies to monitor and evaluate performance and sustainability of key systems and processes

1.2 Undertake detailed analyses of supply chains, and operational, product and service delivery systems

1.3 Identify performance measures, and assessment tools and techniques, and evaluate their effectiveness

1.4 Analyse performance reports and variance from plans for key result areas of the organisation

1.5 Identify and analyse changing trends and opportunities relevant to the organisation

1.6 Seek advice from specialists, where appropriate, to identify technology and electronic commerce opportunities

2. Develop options for continuous improvement

2.1 Brief groups on performance improvement strategies and innovation as an essential element of competition

2.2 Foster creative climate and organisational learning by promoting interaction within and between work groups

2.3 Encourage, test and recognise new ideas and entrepreneurial behaviour where successful

2.4 Accept failure of an idea during trialling and recognise, celebrate and embed success into systems

2.5 Undertake risk management and cost-benefit analysis for each option or idea approved for trial

2.6 Approve innovations through agreed organisational processes

3. Implement innovative processes

3.1 Promote continuous improvement and sustainability as essential to doing business

3.2 Address the impact of change and consequences for people and implement transition plans

3.3 Ensure objectives, timeframes, measures and communication plans are in place to manage implementation

3.4 Implement contingency plans in the event of non-performance

3.5 Follow up failure by prompt investigation and analysis of causes and manage emerging challenges and opportunities effectively

3.6 Ensure that learnings from activities are captured and managed to inform future work

3.7 Regularly evaluate continuous improvement systems and processes

3.8 Communicate costs and benefits of innovations and improvements to relevant groups and individuals

Foundation Skills

This section describes language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills incorporated in the performance criteria that are required for competent performance.


Performance Criteria




Plans and implements strategies to review and improve own performance


1.1-1.5, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2-3.5, 3.7

Analyses, evaluates and integrates facts and ideas to construct meaning from a range of text types


1.1-1.5, 2.1, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8

Integrates information and ideas from a range of sources, utilising appropriate support materials

Communicates complex relationships between ideas and information, matching style of writing to purpose and audience

Oral Communication

1.6, 2.1-2.4, 3.1, 3.5, 3.8

Participates in a variety of spoken exchanges with co-workers and stakeholders when developing options and implementing the continuous improvement plan


1.1-1.5, 2.5, 3.3

Selects and interprets mathematical information to analyse performance

Performs calculations required to establish timeframes, cost-benefits and measures for continuous improvement and innovation processes

Navigate the world of work


Adheres to organisational policies and procedures and considers own role in terms of its contribution to broader goals of the work environment

Interact with others

1.6, 2.1-2.4, 3.1, 3.5, 3.8

Recognises the importance of taking audience, purpose and contextual factors into account when making decisions about what to communicate, with whom, why and how

Recognises the importance of building rapport to establish positive and effective working relationships

Collaborates with others to achieve joint outcomes, playing an active role in encouraging innovation and facilitating effective group interaction

Get the work done

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7

Plans, organises, implements or reviews organisational strategies, systems and processes

Applies problem-solving processes to identify risks, evaluate options and determine solutions

Uses lateral and analytical thinking to evaluate options against needs, resources and constraints before making decisions

Facilitates a climate in which creativity and innovation are accepted as an integral part of achieving outcomes

Recognises that the current way is only one way of doing something and explores possibilities that challenge current approaches

Actively identifies systems, devices and applications with potential to meet current and or future needs, with the help of specialists


Management and Leadership – Management