What is PDCA Cycle

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The PDCA Cycle is short for Plan, Do, Check and Act Cycle, and is also known as the Deming Cycle or the Deming wheel. W. Edward Deming developed this methodology in the 1950’s, when proposing business processes should be measured and analysed to verify variation.

With the PDCA Cycle, processes was placed in a constant feedback loop, so that the parts of the process that needs improvement could be identified and changed as part of continuous improvement cycle.

  • Plan: Define the problem and collect relevant data.
  • Do: Execute the plan and measure its performance
  • Check: Check the result and compare before and after result
  • Act: Take action and implement changes to improve the process.

How to use PDCA Cycle

  • Step 01 Plan: Define exactly what your problem is. There are several tools can be very useful for this, for more details on this please refer to our problem definition page. Map out the process and start collecting data relevant for finding a solution.
  • Step 02 Do: Generate possible solutions and select the best of them. Implement it as a pilot project on a small scale in a controlled environment, never implement it in full at this stage.
  • Step 03 Check: Measure how effective your pilot solution is and compare the before and after result. If you are happy with the result, collect any lessons learnt and move on to final step.
  • Step 04 Act: Implement your solution fully

When to use the PDCA Cycle

The PDCA Cycle can be used for a controlled problem solving process, and can effectively be used in below scenarios.

  • When Identifying and implementing improvement on common processes that are repeated often. As every improvement implemented will be seen each time the process is run.
  • When implementing kaizen or continuous improvement If the cycle in continuously repeated, new areas for improvement are found.
  • If several solutions are considered for solving a problem, they can be trailed in a controlled environment and compared, before implementing the final solution.

If you are interested in the PDCA for problem solving, then our 8D Problem Solving Training might be interesting for you. It is a detailed training on how to effectively solve problems and prevent them from reoccurring.

Alternatively you can continue to our quality training page for an overview of other training we provide.

Go to Quality Training

PDCA Cycle