Progress hardly ever happens in a straight line. The picture to the left shows a real life example of an improvement process. The red line shows the actual values found. As you see, it constantly fluctuates. The blue line is the trend line which shows that over time there is a slow but steady improvement. The arrows show the following: Arrow 1: fast first results, quick progress. Arrow 2: rather heavy fall back. Arrow 3: quick improvement again. Arrow 4: serious fall back again after which improvement picks up again. It would be very easy to get discouraged when focusing too much on the fluctuations, at point 2 and 4 for instance. Two things are important to remember: 1) It is normal for progress to show this kind of fluctuation, and 2) The trendline is an important line to watch. This line shows you that there is actual growth overall. The trendline is a very motivating line to watch.