Plan Do Check Act - PDCA Cycle

The Plan Do Check Act Cycle was suggested by Eduard Deming as a structured approach for quality systems, problem solving and kaizen initiatives. The cycle is also known by its shorter name: the PDCA cycle. The PDCA cycle is an important tool in the implementation of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement initiatives. It becomes particularly usefull when tackling issues which may be difficult to troubleshoot, may have multiple root causes, and require focused effort in performance management and sustainability.

The PDCA cycle consists, as its name suggests of the following stages or steps:
Plan: Planning includes the problem statement, establishing objectives, data gathering, and project scope definition.

Do: The do stage consists of defining the issue, problem, or quality concern with a process, product or plant. The Do stage is usually the stage where other problem solving concepts and techniques are used such as fish bone diagrams , pareto charts and root cause analysis to determine the most probable cause of the problem, issue or lack of performance.

Check: In this stage the possible causes of the issue or problem are checked for their validity including results of the actions and changes suggested above.

Act: This is the stage where measures and actions are put in place to solve the problem, issue, or provide an improvement in the process or plant in a sustainable way.

After the Actions have been put into place they are evaluated for their effectiveness and improvement of performance, if any. If the results are not satisfactory than the PDCA cycle is repeated, in most practical cases the process will revert to the Do stage, but it may be practical to start from the plan stage.

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