4-Steps PDCA Framework

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The Plan-Do-Check-Action (PDCA) cycle is at the heart of incremental change and continuous improvement. PDCA is an ongoing process, centered on a scientific methodology, that proposes program improvements, introduces changes, evaluates results, and takes corrective actions. The Shewhart cycle is another name for the PDCA cycle. After Edwards Deming coined the term in Japan in the 1950s, it is also known as the Deming Cycle or Deming Wheel.

What is PDCA Cycle?

This is a series of four successive phases that is easy to remember: plan, do, check and act. It offers a simple and systematic approach to addressing challenges associated with quality improvement. To effectively resolve the issue and enter the final target condition, iterations of the PDCA successive cycle are be required.

  1. Plan: The problem and the goal are defined. In the plan, the team selects the problems to be solved (or the processes to be improved) to deliver the results as expected.

  2. Do: Implement the solution on a small scale, collect data for future analysis, and measure progress. This phase ensures that the solution is properly tested and validated before committing the full implementation.

  3. Check: This phase helps you to determine how well the approach is progressing and explore what more changes are necessary. It also requires the detection of unforeseen issues and their sources, and the compilation and summary of important lessons learned.

  4. Action: This phase includes taking action on the findings and lessons learned and applying them thoroughly to the solution. It also concerns the standardization and reporting of procedures to be incorporated into the Organization's enhanced structure.

PDCA - An Continuous Improvement Process

The use of PDCA loops does not stop because a cycle has completed. Once this phase is complete, you can identify your next improvement goals and start over at the next planning phase of a new cycle. The PDCA loop can be repeatedly applied to an endless process of continuous improvement. Each cycle will bring you closer to your goals and further expand your knowledge. Data should be collected on an ongoing basis to measure and evaluate performance on an ongoing basis.

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