In project planning and management, the PDCA cycle is a continuous loop of planning, doing, checking/studying, and acting i.e. carrying out change. PDCA cycle is used when:
- Starting a new improvement during project execution.
- Developing a new or improved design of either a process, product, or service.
- Defining a repetitive work process within a project.
- Planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problems or root causes.
- Identifying & implementing any change within a project.
- Working toward continuous project improvement.
Generate and screen ideas, and develop a robust implementation plan. Be sure to state your success criteria and make them as measurable as possible. Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
Once you’ve identified a potential solution, test it safely with a small-scale pilot project. This will show whether your proposed changes achieve the desired outcome – with minimal disruption to the rest of your operation if they don’t.
Next, Rrview the test, analyze your pilot project’s results against the criteria that you defined in Step 1, to assess whether your idea was a success. If it wasn’t, return to Step 1. If it was, advance to Step 4.
This is where you implement your solution. But remember that PDCA is a loop, not a process with a beginning and end. Your improved process or product becomes the new baseline, but you continue to look for ways to make it even better.