No successful business stays stagnant, which means you should constantly be looking for ways to make improvements to your business and your products. Are you looking for a good model to follow? Try the PDSA Cycle.
Also known as the Deming Wheel or Deming Cycle, the PDSA cyle was first introduced to W. Edwards Deming (an eminent scholar and teacher in American academia for more than half a century) by his mentor, Walter Shewhart of Bell Laboratories in New York.
The PDSA Cycle includes the following steps:
• Plan: You must plan for improvement, and the first step is to identify the problem that you need to solve or the process that you need to improve. After you identify the problem/process, you need to document it, collect data, and develop a plan for improvement.
• Do: You then implement and observe the plan. As in Step 1, you should collect data for evaluation.
• Study: You need to evaluate the data you collect during Step 2 (the do phase) against the original data you collected from the process to assess how well the plan improved the problem/process.
• Act: If the evaluation shows improved results, then you should keep the plan in place (and implement it more widely, if appropriate). Then it’s time to identify a new problem and repeat the cycle. Conversely, if the results aren’t satisfactory, you need to revise the plan and repeat the cycle. Either way, you repeat the cycle.