Glossary

PDCA

PDCA is an abbreviation for Plan Do Check Adjust (Act), which is a framework used to improve systems and processes in a manufacturing facility. This framework can also be used to enhance several other systems and processes in other sectors besides manufacturing. The PDCA framework was developed by W. Edwards Deming in the 1950s. Many still look at Edward as the father of quality control. 

Components of the PDCA framework

As we shared earlier, the PDCA framework has four components: planning, doing, checking, and adjusting. Let’s explain each of these components. 

Planning

This involves creating a clear direction of the process or system in a manufacturing facility. Your plan should include a clear objective and procedures for achieving the desired results. Planning also involves gathering enough data that can be used to make more accurate assumptions while experimenting with certain processes and systems. Your plan should also include the tools and resources required to implement your ideas. 

Doing

This involves implementing the plan created in the previous stage. For more effective implementation, it is important to involve all the relevant stakeholders in the planning stage. 

Checking

This stage involves assessing the feasibility and performance of the processes and systems being implemented. The main goal of the checking phase is to determine if there are any issues or bottlenecks during the implementation of a particular system or process. For a better assessment, enough data should be gathered during the implementation stage. Here are some of the questions you need to ask at this stage. 

  • Did the implementation process or system achieve the desired results?
  • Were there any issues during the implementation of the process?
  • Is every stakeholder involved in the implementation of the process happy with the changes?
  • Is there anything that can be done better to improve the process?

If you can find appropriate answers for these questions, it is much easier to determine the changes that can be made to the process to make it much better. 

Adjusting

After checking the system or process, a few changes can be made to improve its efficiency, reliability, and effectiveness. 

How to effectively implement the PDCA framework 

Make sure all the relevant stakeholders are involved at all stages.

If you are making a change in certain stages of your production process, it is crucial to have all stakeholders, including managers and operators, involved in decision-making. Getting the input of all stakeholders makes the implementation of the suggested changes much easier and smoother. 

Take smaller steps

While implementing any new process, it is important to take smaller steps and review them to determine if there are changes that could help you achieve the desired results faster. So, don’t waste a lot of time planning; it is better to execute a smaller plan so that you know its shortcomings before you invest a lot of resources. 

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