PDCA and the scientific method for driving improvement

Video Highlights: (watch the video for in-depth insights)

PDCA, also known as Plan, Do, Check, Act or adjust or decide, whatever you prefer, ultimately means the scientific method. It’s the natural process that humans use to learn new things and even improve things. You can use this method in your business to achieve any result you want.

PDCA is the mother of all of the lean tools available. This is what PDCA means:

PLAN – where you decide what you want to improve and how. We’ll talk about some lean tools that are used in this step of the PDCA.

DO – Make changes/perform experiments

CHECK – Validate the results

ACT – Decide if more experiments are necessary or do we move on to the next project?

Plan, do and check are basically the scientific method. You form a hypothesis, you test it, and you check the results. you validate if your hypothesis was true or false. Sometimes scientist might publish the results from their experiments and stop there, some times they might continue to experiment in order to produce the results they are looking for, but that is not necessarily a requirement of the scientific method. What takes us from purely doing science to improving a process is the last step, the Act/Adjust step on the PDCA. This is the improvement imperative. You don’t stop experimenting until you obtain the results you are looking for. This is the ultimate continuous improvement framework.

Common lean tools that provide structure to the PDCA process:

PLAN

Hoshin Kanri – Strategy Deployment

FMEA

Value Stream Mapping

DO

Root Cause Analysis

Kaizen

5S

CHECK

OEE

Leader Standard Work

Dashboards/KPI’s

ACT

Huddles

Management Reviews

Gemba Walks

Impruver.com provides a systematic approach to executing PDCA, driving more experimentation, accelerating the learning process for your organization, and teaching people to apply the scientific method at every level so you can obtain phenomenal results in a consistent basis.

Within Impruver there is a strategy deployment functionality, so if you are doing Hoshin Kanri or journey mapping Impruver will help you cascade that plan throughout your organization, helping everyone commit to the specific things they are going to do to improve within their area of ownership,  those improvements should be align with the objectives the company is trying to achieve. Impruver also includes root cause analysis tools and a fantastic work execution, work management system. making sure that the things that you decide that are important get done, so it drives notifications, reminders, validation chains, centralization of all of your action items, improving visibility throughout the organization.