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PDSA Cycle - Kaizen, Continuous Improvement, Deming

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PDSA Cycle

PDSA (plan – do – study – act) is an iterative four-step problem solving process typically used in business process improvement.

Kaizen Mindset

PDCA (plan – do – check – act) was made popular by Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Later Deming modified PDCA to "Plan, Do, Study, Act" (PDSA) so as to better describe the nature of continuous improvement.

  1. Plan: Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output.

  2. Do: Implement the new processes. Often on a small scale if possible.

  3. Study: Evaluate the new processes and compare the results against the expected results to ascertain any differences. Show how the quality of goods can be improved.  >>>

  4. Act: Analyze the differences to determine their cause. Each will be part of either one or more of the P-D-S-A steps. Determine where to apply changes that will include improvement. When a pass through these four steps does not result in the need to improve, refine the scope to which PDSA is applied until there is a plan that involves improvement.

A fundamental principle of the scientific method and PDSA is iteration – once a hypothesis is confirmed, executing the cycle again will extend the knowledge further. Repeating the PDSA cycle can bring us closer to the goal, usually a perfect operation and output.

Advanced PDSA Cycle

In course of applying this concept in Japan it was soon found that a post-corrective application of PDSA was not enough. As a result, a new concept of PDSA emerged. It has in-build PDSA cycle in the “Do” phase implemented by workers.

The phases “Plan”, “Study” and “Action” are implemented by managers. “Action” means preventing recurrence and institutionalizing the improvement as a new practice to improve upon.

As soon as an improvement has been made it becomes the standard to be challenged with new plans for further improvement. Thus the Kaizen process is realized at its maximum.  >>>

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