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The concept of process improvement has been around for centuries. Some of the earliest efforts to improve the efficiency of work began during the Industrial Revolution in the US and Europe. Eli Whitney observed how much work was needed to remove cotton seeds from the boll by hand and invented a machine to automate the process in 1793. Fast forward to 1911 when Fredrick Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management, in which he proposed that optimizing and simplifying jobs would yield greater productivity. In 1987, the first version of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO 9000 standard for quality management was introduced.
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