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Overview of PDCA Cycle

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PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act. It is an iterative technique or we can say a process which is generally considered as a cycle acts as a management method for various business purposes like improvement, controlment and continuation of processes and products. In more simple words it is a cycle for solving the problems and improving the processes. Originally it was developed by America Physicist Walter during 1920s. 

This PDCA is also called as Plan–Do–Study–Act (PDSA). But in general it is known by a number of names like Deming circle/cycle/wheel, control cycle, Shewhart Cycle. They are continuous loop of planning, doing, checking and acting.

The model is useful for problem solving, improve business-solving, iterative technique used to improve business and processes. Its a fundamental principle including scientific method and PDCA is iteration which allows both control and analysis – once the hypothesis are confirmed, executing cycle on repeated process extends the knowledge further and brings the goals closer with better operation and outputs .

PDCA consists four steps which are explained below : 

  1. PLAN : Identify the problem. Establishes objective and delivers product according to desired results and also works as per required processes, recognizes an opportunity and changes plan accordingly.
  2. DO : Tests the changes and potential solutions. Carryout the plan. Document problems and unexpected observations.
  3. CHECK : During the check phase, the data and results are evaluated means study the results. Reviews tests, analyzes result.
  4. ACT : Actions are taken from the knowledge gained. The changes are adopted and the best solution is implemented by running through the cycle again.

Benefits of PDCA cycle :  

When PDCA cycle is followed number of benefits we get from it. Some of them are highlighted below.

  • Start of new improvement project
  • Works on the Developing some new or improved design of a process, product or service .
  • Defines repetitive work process .
  • Helps in planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problem with root causes.
  • Implements changes and recurs mistakes.
  • Works always on continuous improvement.
  • It encompasses much of same framework as strategic management
  • Provides much standardized method .
  • Increases efficiency and effectiveness
  • Continuous process improvement
  • Eases decision making by managers easier
  • Lowers project management risks
  • Prevents waste of time
  • Fosters teamwork
  • Overcomes problems internally with lower cost .
  • Requires less instructions

Uses of PDCA :

The plan-do-check-act cycle understands the framework for iterative development. Which depends on real life experiments. This leads to reduction in waste and increase in productivity in long run also the continuous loop makes it ideal for new project implementation. 

Apart from these, PDCA is widely used for implementing quality management which actually keep process under control and ensures best quality .

Last Updated : 17 Sep, 2021
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