Saturday, 16 November 2013

What is Plan Do Check & Act (PDCA)?

What is Plan Do Check & Act (PDCA)?

A Quality Control (QC) Process Chart is a tool that helps you document Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) activities for the process.

The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is a well-known model for CPI. It teaches organizations to plan an action, do it, check to see how it conforms to the plan and act on what has been learned.

The PDCA cycle is made up of four steps for improvement or change:

Plan:  Recognize an opportunity, and plan the change.
Do: Test the change.
Check: Review the test, analyse the results and identify key learning points.
Act: Take action based on what you learned in the check step.

If the change was successful, incorporate the learning from the test into wider changes. If not, go through the cycle again with a different plan.

The goal is standardization:

- Standardization enables high quality production of goods and services on a reliable, predictable, and sustainable basis.
- Standardization is making sure that important elements of a process are performed consistently in the most effective manner.

Changes are made only when data shows that a new alternative is better.
Use of standard practices will:
- Reduce variation among individuals or groups and make process output more predictable
- Provide "know-why" for operators and managers now on the job
- Provide a basis for training new people
- Provide a trail for tracing problems
- Provide a means to capture and retain knowledge
- Give direction in the case of unusual conditions

History of PDCA:

The PDCA cycle is also known by two other names, the Shewhart cycle and the Deming cycle.
Walter A. Shewhart first discussed the concept of PDCA in his 1939 book, Statistical Method From the Viewpoint of Quality Control. Shewhart said the cycle draws its structure from the notion that constant evaluation of management practices, as well as the willingness of management to adopt and disregard unsupported ideas, is key to the evolution of a successful enterprise.

Deming is credited with encouraging the Japanese in the 1950s to adopt PDCA. The Japanese eagerly embraced PDCA and other quality concepts, and to honour Deming for his instruction, they refer to the PDCA cycle as the Deming cycle.

Author: Steven Bonacorsi
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