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PDCA

Overview#

PDCA is an Abbreviation for plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust) is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products.

PDCA is often referred to as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, the Shewhart cycle, the control circle/cycle, or plan–do–study–act (PDSA).

PDCA and its variants are the basis for many Agile Software development and other Agile methods

Plan#

Establish objectives and processes required to deliver the desired results.

Do#

The do phase allows the plan from the previous step to be done. Small changes are usually tested, and data is gathered to see how effective the change is.

Check#

During the check phase, the data and results gathered from the do phase are evaluated. Data is compared to the expected outcomes to see any similarities and differences. The testing process is also evaluated to see if there were any changes from the original test created during the planning phase. If the data is placed in a chart it can make it easier to see any trends if the PDCA cycle is conducted multiple times. This helps to see what changes work better than others, and if said changes can be improved as well.

Example: Gap analysis, or Appraisals.

Act#

Also called "Adjust", this act phase is where a process is improved. Records from the "do" and "check" phases help identify issues with the process. These issues may include problems, non-conformities, opportunities for improvement, inefficiencies and other issues that result in outcomes that are evidently less-than-optimal. Root causes of such issues are investigated, found and eliminated by modifying the process. Risk is re-evaluated. At the end of the actions in this phase, the process has better instructions, standards or goals. Planning for the next cycle can proceed with a better base-line. Work in the next do phase should not create recurrence of the identified issues; if it does, then the action was not effective.

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following:
  • [#1] - PDCA - based on information obtained 2019-08-04