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Plan - Do - Check - Act Model

Page history last edited by bbraine1@gsu.student.edu 11 years, 1 month ago

In the field of Human Performance Technology (HPT), there are many different types of models that address the same issue:  how to solve a problem in an organization.  While some models are linear in form, meaning that they details the steps in a project or initiative to solve an organization’s problem, the Plan – Do – Check – Act model is used when improvements in an organization must be done on a continuous basis. 


HPI professionals refer to this model as "PDCA" in shorthand.  It is a four-step process for implementing continuous process improvement.  It is similar to Quality Circles and product improvement lifecycles.  The PDCA model is sometimes referred to as the Deming "wheel" because of the cyclical or circular nature of the model:



Edward Deming was a noted process improvement professional, among other accomplishments, that devised methods aimed at improving process and product quality through the use of statistical analysis.  Those that have studied his work and received certification after completing a certain body of study are known as “Deming Scholars”.


There are four phases or steps to the PDCA model:



In this step, the HPI team establishes the goals of the project.  For example, if the PDCA improvement initiative aims to improve customer service, the output of this step would be a list of goals for the relevant parts of the organization.  The goals should be measurable and achievable. 


This step is similar to the intervention step in the ASTD model for HPI, but if used in conjunction with PDCA, the output of ASTD’s performance and cause analysis steps should be used as input to PDCA’s Plan step.



This step entails exactly what it is named: DO.  The planning from the prior step is carried out in this step from the beginning to the end of the initiative or project.  A work plan is created and followed, and all relevant data in the form of work papers is generated to support the results of the step.  Valid measurements should be developed in order to chart the success of the work.



In this step, the project team is evaluating and measuring the success of the prior step in which the improvement plan is implemented.  Data supporting the attainment of the goal should be evaluated to determine how successful the implementation was.  The goals established in the first step should be evaluated according to the valid measurements developed in the previous step.






Based on the results of the previous step, determine if any changes need to be made to the next iteration of improvement, which begins in the next step and cycle’s “plan” step.  The goals from the just-completed PDCA cycle should be revised according to whether they were attained.

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