Plan, Do, Check, Act!
By Antonio Angellilo, InterCHANGE Associate
Raise the quality of work done and improve your organisation’s outcomes, by using – Plan, Do, Check, Act process
The Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycle is a simple model that describes the steps and sequences required to improve an activity.
The PDCA model was creating by W. Edwards Deming, who envisaged a model in which organisations can:
Plan – plan an activity,
Do – carry the activity out,
Check – review the results and then
Act – act on those findings to improve the initial planned activity.
The power of this simple repetitive process is that it can be applied in various ways and at different levels within an organisation whether operational such as providing a service fulfilment, business planning, pricing policies, people development strategies, individual learning and piloting projects or products. This approach can also help review individual processes that lead to improved outcomes whether these directly affect customers or whether applied to supporting processes.
Plan – Do – Check – Act is also used by many external assessment standards and kitemarks to illustrate how improvement activities are sequenced to achieve better quality outcomes. Standards such as ISO 9001, Investors in People and matrix all use the PDCA approach with each emphasising different steps or outcomes depending on the nature of the standard e.g. people development or leadership.
By using the PDCA model organisations have a systematic approach to taking actions and improving results which is consistent with Deming’s focus on ‘continual improvement’.
If you are considering ramping up quality management or starting to evaluate how your organisation can improve, use PDCA to stimulate your improvement strategy.