Plan, Do, Check, Act – a four stage cycle that organization use to solve problems or carry out change either in processes or products. This cycle should be conducted over and over to promote continuous improvement.
I decided to expand a bit more on the topic I was given for the one slide, the PDCA cycle. I thought that it was not only useful in the business world, but most of the time we do a similar process in solving problems in the everyday setting. The PDCA not only solves problems but also improves process and facilitates change. PDCA is an acronym for Plan, Do, Check, Act; which is a problem solving method that was adapted by Dr. Edward Deeming . It is often also referred to as the Deeming cycle. “Its origin can be traced back to the eminent statistics expert Mr. Walter A. Shewart, in the 1920’s. He introduced the concept of PLAN, DO and SEE. The late Total Quality Management (TQM) guru and renowned statistician Edward W. Deming modified the SHEWART cycle as: PLAN, DO, CHECK, and ACT.”
Plan-In the first phase one must identify the problem and the root cause of the problem. Once the problem has been identified then one must plan for corrective action.
Do– In this phase the corrective action will be executed. While the plan is being carried out one must collect data for future reference.
Check– From the data collected in the Do phase, the next step is to Check for results. This phase is also sometimes known as the compare or study phase; that is because expected outcomes are compared with actual results. If the process was successful then it can move on to the next phase.
Act– If the previous steps have successfully solved the problem then the process can be standardized and fully implemented. This means that this process can be used as a reference to solve similar problems in the future. The cycle should be repeated to promote continuous improvement.
Problem solving would be much easier if there was already a process in place that one could follow and get positive results every time; however it is not always this easy. “The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle provides a simple but effective approach for problem solving and managing change, ensuring that ideas are appropriately tested before committing to full implementation.”
This is a great video that explains- PDCA, you can skip the introduction and start the video at 00:42; explanation ends at 3:16