Continuous Business Improvement Model

The concept of Continuous Business Improvement (CBI) in a project setting is a structured and methodical process for developing profitable farm businesses. It draws on innovations in business and relationships with people.  Its single most distinguishing feature is the in-built phase of reflection.

CBI in projects provides information on design and evaluation.  The following is a set of guidelines for CBI in projects, providing information on design and evaluation aspects.  More specifically:

  • How objectives and outcomes can be written in a CBI context
  • Common used processes and models of CBI
  • Principles and ethics that need to be adopted in a CBI project setting
  • The elements of building an enabling environment

Definition and Overarching Aim
Continuous Business Improvement is a process that has:

  • Specific and targeted objectives and outcomes
  • A cycle of continuous improvement using a defined process, and
  • A set of standards and principles for behaviour when working in groups.

The inclusion of a fourth phase of reflection (interpretation) is seen as a distinguishing feature of CBI as an addition to the standard phases of planning, action and monitoring in business improvement models.  CBI project groups can bring together novel linkages between industry actors (e.g. in the Profitable Pastures Project, working links were made between researchers, farmers and extension staff).

The higher level aim of projects that have a continuous business improvement focus is to build the capacity of the individuals involved. This allows them to contribute to prosperous community life and profitable and sustainable industries.

Design elements:  Key questions to assess potential CBI projects for funding or to review operational projects

Action Research

Evaluation: Project implementation matrix


Content sources and further information
Paine, M., Roberts, K. and Nettle, R. (2004) Guidelines for the Design and Evaluation of Continuous Business Improvement Projects. Victoria