PDCA Framework for Problem Solving

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PDCA helps you create a way to identify the reasons why a product is not meeting customer expectations. It helps companies make assumptions about what needs to change and then test those assumptions in a continuous feedback loop. It focuses on predicting the results of improvement efforts and comparing them in order to suggest possible modifications. And through continuous learning to develop new knowledge and theory as the guidance to strengthen his ability to change the decision in the future.


PDCA is an iterative four stage approach for continuous improvement of processes, products or services, and problem solving. It involves systematically testing possible solutions, evaluating results, and implementing proven solutions.


In the 1950s, renowned management strategist Dr. William Edwards Deming created PDCA, also referred to as the Deming Wheel, Deming Cycle, or PDSA. As his model was based on an idea from his teacher, Walter Shewhart, Deming himself named it the' Shewhart Cycle.'


The four stages are as follows:


  1. P (Planning) : identify and analyze problems or opportunities, develop assumptions about what problems might be, and decide which problems to test.

  2. Do (Execution) : test potential solutions, preferably on a small scale, and measure results.

  3. Check (Review / research) : research results, measure validity, and determine whether they support the hypothesis.

  4. Act (Action) : if the solution succeeds, implement it.


PDCA - An Example

The PDCA cycle is designed to ensure a commitment to quality improvement. Assume that customer satisfaction at an online store continues to decline. When you check the latest feedback, you'll find that your customers are complaining about delivery delays and product damage in transit. You plan to use a new vendor to deliver products to a small number of customers for a one-month pilot project. You are happy to see that the customer experience is positive. As a result, you may also want to switch other orders to a new supplier in the future. If so, you might subconsciously use a PDCA cycle. Yes, it will help your business grow and optimize, but PDCA loops are that simple!



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