All entries for Saturday 26 October 2013

October 26, 2013

PDCA cycle

This cycle is known as Deming Cycle. Although it was created for the improvements in business environment, actually this loop is used in many cases by us. I believe that this cycle forms also the structure of learning process. Let’s investigate all of the steps and give examples:



What a boring word, isn’t it? Everybody has been talking about how preparing plan is important. However this is the fact that “plan making saves time and money in every ambient”. For instance, housewives prepare the shopping list in order to categorise the needs and places according to discount booklets of supermarket which are distributed by mail or experiences which they have. Actually, we are planning everything in our lives unconsciously, because due to requirement of surviving we should use our resources and capabilities orderly and efficiently. Our resources may be time and money and capabilities may be physical or logical behaviours that we can execute in “Do” step!

Also plan making not only reduces the uncertainties in our life, but also minimize the impulsive and arbitrary decisions. Preparing plan reduces the probability of catastrophic failures in every platform.


No one can have an experience or feedback, before experiencing it. After we made plan or agenda, trial is necessary for collecting data from system. With this act we compare the real results with expectations. For instance, there is middle-size factory which produces electronic equipments for notebooks and we work as a management team. After we prepared our new production line-up for a recently innovated product, we should try to produce it and instead of discussing the expected results in meeting, we need real outcomes. The real result of test is really important in order to check them with anticipated ones. These tests take sometimes much time in some sectors, especially manufacturing sector. For instance, BMW, well-known German automobile manufacturer, put new cars on the market in every 7 years. During 7 years, the department of research and development tries it in every condition which car may be deal with. However, some firms do not have a capability taking a risk and want to observe the outcomes in small perspective. (**)

**Sometimes this step called as “pilot practice”, because most companies do not want to take serious decisions. Pilot practice means that try out the application in a small dimension instead of apply it completely. **


How can we correct our mistakes or wrong decisions? In this step of PDCA loop, we are going to compare the results which have taken from Do-part with the expectations on Plan-part. Sometimes the decisions taken in Plan part may be misleading and we are sure to be on right way. According to me, checking means that “deriving lessons from mistakes”. After we learned from mistakes, new improvements are unavoidable.


We have already planned, tried, and checked! We should finalise and keep it sustain our attempt. Act step shows us how people work well. It is time to show and prove people our knowledge and work in this step. Reaching excellence level in production is not a dream, but it requires much willingness an adaptation to excellence ideology and patience.

Even we have finished the cycle; the most important principal about PDCA-cycle is keeping it sustain. It means that we should follow this path for all new improvements or innovations. And this will give us continuous improvement in long-term. After this cycle rotates in a time, the quality of product will improve and company can achieve excellence.

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