Simple PDCA Diagram

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Deming Cycle is also known as PDCA cycle or Deming wheel. Developed by W. Edwards-Deming in the 1950s, it is one of the most popular continuous improvement models in the world. It is also the most widely used framework for continuous improvement in manufacturing, management and many other areas. The PDCA is a never-ending cycle where incremental improvements should be made over and over again each time to keep improving the process.

Note that while the PDCA cycle is sometimes referred to as the Deming cycle, the cycle is often referred to by Deming himself as the "Shewhart Cycle."

What is PDCA Cycle?

PDCA is a simple four-step method that teams can use to avoid recurring errors and improve processes. The four stages are Plan-Do-Check-Action, as shown in the figure.

  • Plan :Identify the issue, collect the information, and determine the root cause of the problem, establish hypotheses on what the problems might be, and determine which one to evaluate.

  • Do : Develop and execute a solution; determine on a measure to measure its efficacy, evaluate the possible solution, and measure the outcomes.

  • Check : Confirm the findings by analysis of data before and after. Review the outcome, calculate performance, and determine whether or not the theory is validated.

  • Act : Document the outcomes, notify others about process improvements, and make suggestions for future PDCA cycles. Implement it if the solution has been successful. Tackle the next issue if not and reiterate the next cycle.

The Deming cycle's true strength lies in its simplicity. As we investigate more about an issue, we made minor changes over and over again, each time becoming often a better solution and closer to perfection.

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