PDCA Chart for Problem Solving

PDCA Chart for Problem Solving Using Circles in PDCA Templates Edit this Template
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PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act and describes the general control loop for controlling management tasks. The PDCA cycle comes from quality management and originally serves the continuous improvement process. It is also called the Shewhart or Deming cycle.

Walter Shewhart had the idea for the PDCA cycle in 1920s. He originally devised a three-phase, linear process that included the phases specification - production - inspection. William Edwards Deming later took up his idea, added a phase and named it the Plan-Do-Check-Act in 1950s. He arranged them in a cycle, i.e. when all phases have been passed, he starts again from the beginning for a new cycle.

  1. Plan: Know where you are and where you want to be. At its simplest, the purpose of the planning phase is to determine your goals, how to achieve them, and how to measure your progress toward those goals.

  2. Do : Once you have a plan of action or a potential solution to a problem, test it. The do step is to put the initially proposed changes into the test. However, this should be viewed as a pilot project rather than a full implementation of a solution.

  3. Check: After the pilot tests are complete, you need to check that your proposed changes or solutions are working as expected. This Check phase is the phase where the data collected from the Do phase is analyzed and compared to the goals described in the original plan.

  4. Action: By the time you reach the end of the cycle, the team should have identified the proposed changes from process to implementation. Your new and improved products, processes, or issues that have been addressed should form a new baseline for further iterations of the PDCA cycle.

The PDCA cycle is a simple, direct and intuitive process for people to master and implement in their work. This has made it not only a durable quality improvement method in the world, but also popular in many different industries and people's minds. While PDCA still requires a certain level of peer approval to work in a team, its simplicity makes it easy to permeate organizational culture and overall processes.

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