By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach – Inspiration and Innovation unlimited!



"Scrap doesn't come for free, we pay someone to make it." ~ Edwards Deming

   More Continuous Improvement Quotes

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF): Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Suggestion Systems, TQM


PDSA Cycle Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF) PDSA Cycle (Plan - Do - Study, Act), PDCA Cycle (Plan - Do - Control - Act)


Lean Enterprise: 13 Tips




PDSA Cycle


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

Implementing Kaizen: 7 Conditions

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.

  Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF): Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Suggestion Systems, TQM, Best Practices




 Free Micro-courses

Ten3 Mini-courses


Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)


Synergizing Business Processes



References and Resources:

  1. Kaizen: The Key To Japan's Competitive Success, Masaaki Imai

  2. Kaizen, 25 PowerPoint slides by Factory Strategies Group LLC

  3. 14 TQM Slogans at Pentel, Japan

  4. Glossary of Kaizen and Lean Production Terms

  5. Kaizen Strategy: 7 Conditions for Successful Implementation, Masaaki Imai

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

3 Basic Principles of Continuous Improvement

Cross-functional Management (CFM)

Kaizen – the Japanese Strategy of Continuous Improvement

Kaizen Mindset

Quick and Easy Kaizen

Kaizen vs. Kaikaku and 10 Kakaku Commandments

Kaizen and Innovation

Kaizen Culture

Kaizen Culture: 8 Elements and Implementation in Japan and the West

Suggestion Systems

Japanese-style Suggestion System

Fun4Biz Suggestion System

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Kaizen and TQM

Deming's 14 Point Plan for TQM