PDCA cycle. ….. hmmmmm
Questions like these arise:
What is it?
Who can implement it?
Where can it be implemented?
These questions are common. It’s a way we react to something that we are not so familiar with.
The PDCA cycle is a four-stage tool to continually improve your process, products and/or service. It’s a learning and improvement cycle.
PDCA: P stands for PLAN, D stands for DO, C stands for CHECK, and A stands for ACT.
The PDCA cycle was developed by Walter Shewhart (The Grandfather of Total Quality Management).
Once you understand the principles of the PDCA cycle it will be very easy to implement.
The PDCA cycle adds great value to any endeavor. It can be implemented on small and large processes.
But how do I start?
We need to sit down and start at the beginning:
Plan: What are we going to do, and why are we going to do it.
This is the first step of the cycle. Brainstorm about what you ultimately want to achieve. What are the improvements you want to make and how are you planning to control the outcome.
Do: Perform the test, change.
The second step is the implementation step. Implement what you have planned.
Check: Analyzing step
Check what went well, what went wrong, what can be done differently, so you can get the outcome you planned.
Act: Implementing corrective actions, adjust your plan.
The Act step is the final step. It’s the step where we have standardized what works, and keep working on what is not working.
Quality professionals normally use the PDCA cycle to improve business processes; the quality of the final outcome, but the PDCA cycle can also be used as part of your personal life.
If we look closely: IT IS PART of our daily life, and the way we operate each day.
As human beings each of us have our own mission in this life, but to achieve our very own personal mission, we have to go through ups and downs, through a lot of challenges.
If we stand still and look at the total picture, we can see that our personal life is a continuous improvement process.
Plan: Plan your goals, what do you want to be, what do you want to do, and what do I need to do to get where I want to be.
Do: Work hard to achieve what you have planned to do. Follow your PLAN.
Check: Check your results periodically. Are your results according to your plan? Are they not in line with your goals?
Analyzing your results is very important, so you can make the right decisions.
Act: Take action. If your results are not what you have planned, it’s time to adapt and to change.
After that: REPEAT the CYCLE.
The PDCA cycle will show you how to keep improving yourself, and you will learn how to keep changing, and or adapting your methods/plans so you can achieve your goals.
When using the PDCA cycle, you don’t have to be afraid if something goes wrong, you don’t have to be afraid to mess up. The PDCA cycle is a self-correcting tool. That’s why it keeps repeating itself.
“It’s All about Quality”