PDSA (plan do study act) is an iterative
problem solving process typically used in
PDCA (plan do check act) was made popular by Dr. W.
Edwards Deming. Later Deming modified PDCA to "Plan, Do, Study, Act" (PDSA)
so as to better describe the nature of
objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with
the expected output.
Do: Implement the new
processes. Often on a small scale if possible.
Study: Evaluate the new
processes and compare the results against the expected results to
ascertain any differences. Show how the quality of goods can be
Act: Analyze the differences
to determine their cause. Each will be part of either one or more of the
P-D-S-A steps. Determine where to apply changes that will include
improvement. When a pass through these four steps does not result in the
need to improve, refine the scope to which PDSA is applied until there
is a plan that involves improvement.
A fundamental principle of the scientific
method and PDSA is iteration once a hypothesis is confirmed, executing the
cycle again will extend the knowledge further. Repeating the PDSA cycle can
bring us closer to the goal, usually a perfect operation and output.
Advanced PDSA Cycle
In course of applying this concept in
Japan it was soon found that a post-corrective application of PDSA was
not enough. As a result, a new concept of PDSA emerged. It has in-build PDSA
cycle in the Do phase implemented by workers.
The phases Plan, Study
and Action are implemented by managers. Action means preventing
recurrence and institutionalizing the improvement as a new practice to
As soon as an improvement has been made it becomes the
standard to be challenged with new plans for further improvement. Thus the
Kaizen process is realized at its maximum.
8 Key Elements