Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) is a four step cycle that allows you to implement change, solve problems, and continuously improve processes. Its cyclical nature allows it to be utilized in a continuous manner for ongoing improvement.
When implementing change.
For problem solving.
For continuous improvement.
To develop a design.
1. PLAN the change or improvement.
2. DO: Conduct a pilot test of the change.
3. CHECK: Gather data about the pilot change to ensure the change was successful.
4. ACT: Implement the change on a broader scale. Continue to monitor the change and iterate as necessary by repeating the cycle.
Makes sure that all appropriate steps are followed.
Offers a systematic improvement method.
Is an effective process improvement guide.
Informs future improvement by providing feedback.
Maintains order during problem solving.
Requires significant commitment over time.
Yeager K. Program evaluation: this is rocket science. In: Roberts A, Yeager K, editors. Evidence-based practice manual: research and outcome measures in health and human services. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2004. p. 647-53.
American Society for Quality. Project planning and implementing tools: Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. 2009 [cited 2009 July 23]; Available from: http://www.asq.org/learn-about-quality/project-planning-tools/overview/pdca-cycle.html
Silimperi D, Zanten V, Franco L. Framework for institutionalizing quality assurance. In: Roberts A, Yeager K, editors. Evidence-based practice manual: research and outcome measures in health and human services. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2004. p. 867-81.