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Plan-Do-Check-Act (aka PDCA or Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle is a four-step method used for continuous improvement processes, solving problems and managing change. The model is useful for testing improvement measures on a small scale before updating procedures and working practices.
PDCA (PDSA) stands for:
- Plan: Recognize an opportunity, understand the problem and plan a change
- Do: Apply and test the change. Carry out a small scale pilot.
- Check (Study): Review the test, analyze/study the results and identify what you learned
- Act: Take action based on what you learned (Adopt/Adapt/Abandon)
- Needing a model for continuous improvement
- Starting a new improvement project
- Developing a new or improved design of a process, product or service
- Something bugs you
- Customers are complaining
- You find yourself saying, "There has got to be a better way!" Implementing any change