It’s important to keep original goals in mind and frequently validate whether I am moving into the direction I had planned for.
How this helps you
Running around in circles, can sometimes be a good thing. PDCA helps you to continuously improve, be open and be flexible. It also keeps you aligned with your original goals.
What is it?
PDCA (plan–do–check–act) cycle is a four-step method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products. Each step requires a different focus.
Plan: Establish your objective and the process needed to deliver results.
Do: Implement the Plan by executing this process. Whilst doing you collect data on performance for the next step.
Check: See how actual results (collected in Do) compare against your goals (from Plan). Look for deviation from your plans and check whether you’re still doing the right thing to reach your goals.
Act: This step should trigger to take action. If the Check shows that you’re results are better than planned, this should become your new standard. If your current way of doing is not an improvement, your original targets should remain. You should use these learning to take action and find options for improvement.
PDCA as such is used a lot in quality control environments. The concept of PDCA is based on the scientific method of Francis Bacon in weighing the truthfulness of knowledge. This scientific method was made popular by Dr W. Edwards Deming.
How does it relate?
The fundamental principle is iteration. Repeating the PDCA cycle brings you closer to your goals. You can repeat the cycle until you have solved the challenge at hand. Plan do check act originates from Lean Six Sigma, which was used in Japan at Toyota to iterate small increments of improvement.
Your next Waypoint
Learn more about the background of the PDCA-cycle in this article:
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