PDCA Cycle

PDCA is a four-stage iterative approach for continually improving the processes by Walter A. Shewhart and Edward Deming. This is a 4 step management method for better control and continuous improvement.

P(lan) D(o) C(check) A(ct). i.e Continually Improving, in a Methodical Way


PDCA by Mindtools

The phases or steps of the PDCA cycle are linked together by results – the result of one step becomes the input to another.

  • Plan: identify and analyze the problem or opportunity, develop hypotheses about what the issues may be, and decide which one to test.
    • What is the core problem we need to solve?
    • What resources do we need?
    • What resources do we have?
    • What is the best solution for fixing the problem with the available resources?
    • In what conditions the plan will be considered successful? What are the goals?
  • Do: test the potential solution, ideally on a small scale, and measure the results.
  • Check/Study: study the result, measure effectiveness, and decide whether the hypothesis is supported or not.
  • Act: if the solution was successful, implement it.

It is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, the Shewhart cycle, the control circle/cycle, or plan–do–study–act (PDSA).

Further Readings

  1. Process groups
  2. Project Life Cycle vs Product Life Cycle vs Project Management Process Groups
  3. KanBanize.com

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