PDCA is a four-stage iterative approach for continually improving the processes by Walter A. Shewhart and Edward Deming. This is a 4 step management method for better control and continuous improvement.
P(lan) D(o) C(check) A(ct). i.e Continually Improving, in a Methodical Way
The phases or steps of the PDCA cycle are linked together by results – the result of one step becomes the input to another.
- Plan: identify and analyze the problem or opportunity, develop hypotheses about what the issues may be, and decide which one to test.
- What is the core problem we need to solve?
- What resources do we need?
- What resources do we have?
- What is the best solution for fixing the problem with the available resources?
- In what conditions the plan will be considered successful? What are the goals?
- Do: test the potential solution, ideally on a small scale, and measure the results.
- Check/Study: study the result, measure effectiveness, and decide whether the hypothesis is supported or not.
- Act: if the solution was successful, implement it.
It is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, the Shewhart cycle, the control circle/cycle, or plan–do–study–act (PDSA).