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First Steps at Problem Solving – Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) – Learning Log I


Recently, I promised to share distilled knowledge from my Personal CPD (Continuing Professional Development) experiences.

Here is my first installment.

I have broken the CPD process into modules and do you want to guess the first module?


Of course, the GOAL of any business, individual or organization is to solve one problem or the other in such a way that the client or customer is satisfied enough to part with their monies. Hence, it makes logical sense to start your personal MBA program from learning how to take on Problems head on.

The first lesson in my Problem Solving module is the PDCA.

PDCA stands for Plan Do Check Act/Adjust.

PDCA was popularized by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, an American engineer, statistician and management consultant. Deming is often considered the father of modern quality control (QC).

ThePDCA model is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, Shewhart cycle, control circle/cycle,

Here is a break down of the PDCA model.

Plan: Define the problem to be addressed, collect relevant data, and ascertain the problem’s root cause.

Do: Develop and implement a solution; decide upon a measurement to gauge its effectiveness.

Check: Confirm the results through before-and-after data comparison.

Act: Document the results, inform others about process changes, and make recommendations for the problem to be addressed in the next PDCA cycle.

In one paragraph, this is how to use the PDCA to solve problems.

The Planning phase requires you to identify the symptoms you can see or extrapolate and by so doing getting a clear cut understanding of the Problem situation. Having identified the Problem and/or its root causes, the Do phase requires you to develop likely solutions to the problem. In the checking phase, you are checking if your proffered solution is actually solving the problem on ground. The act/adjust phase is where you decide to either continue with the solution or modify certain aspects based on the feedback and empirical data you have at hand. #Datzall

Pretty simple isn’t it?

That is the Simple but powerful Plan-Do-Check-Act model for implementing a Continous Improvement (KAIZEN) of your processes.

Go ahead, apply it in your scenarios. I will love to hear your feedbacks.

P.S. I am getting some help from my friends at MindTools 


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