Industrial engineering may come with incremental improvement projects and breakthrough improvement projects out of its department activity. Similarly it can support incremental and breakthrough improvement projects of operating departments. In the case of projects initiated and executed by operating departments its provides its expert services in the form of reviews and audits.
An IE project may be categorized as break through whenever it achieves a cost reduction of more than 30% in any operation cost or cost of a component.
One textbook says incremental improvements are done by changing the way people work based on their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs.
Radical improvements are brought in by changing equipment and organization (it means the basic technology is changed).
Japanese first insist on incremental improvements before thinking of equipment changes.