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The Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle (PDCA)



Mastering Improvement: Understanding the PDCA Cycle

When it comes to the field of continuous improvement, one of the eternal gems is the PDCA cycle. Developed in the 1930s by Walter Shewhart and further elevated to the status of phenomenon by W. Edwards Deming, it remains the cornerstone of quality management. Here is its meaning in some what more human-like language.

1. Plan:

Identify the problem. Concentrate attention on the need for change and sketch the process of change that must be undertaken. Point out what should be altered and come up with an informal solution .Modification of the extensive list of sub-items that require adjustments; determination of the risks and expectations from the outcome. This outlines the issues cures they will be changed.

2. Do:

Finally! This phase is all about now’s your time to implement the action. My bad! However, use a location close to where one lives and does it on a slow pace. It’s the opportunity to experiment and gather information.

3. Check:

Decide for a moment. After one’s experiment, examine the outcomes. Has one made a difference? Review the data for signs of improvement. If the answer is yes, consider how to achieve it. If No, return to step one. How did the test make you feel?

4. Act:

Now that you have the results, make a change. Scale it up and initiate the procedures. Renew procedures and make sure you do the right thing. This step reorders and enhances the steps above.

Remember, it’s a cycle:

  1. Plan: Identify the problem anew.
  2. Do: Execute the plan.
  3. Check: Assess the outcome.
  4. Act: Adapt and refine the plan.

PDCA is the alpha and omega of EVERYTHING in Japan when it comes to Kaizens – the mini-improvements we make every day to breed into the habit of improvement. Lean teams perform the cycle to literally make progressive changes, step by step.

Actually, it isn’t a tool, it’s a state of mind as well, the state of seeking the perfect state that must be achieved in steps. We are ready to embark on that path with you, seeking the perfect state every time. Nothing is out of reach to PDCA.

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