August 14, 2012
The PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) model came first in the Deming Quality Improvement processes. It was later updated to be PDSA, but a few claim there are slight difference as the first was meant as a 1-time problem solution and the revised name indicates an ongoing cycle. (American Society for Quality) explanation of 8-step PDCA: recognize an opportunity, plan a change, test the change, carry out a small-scale study, review the test, analyze the results, identify what you’ve learned, take action based on what you learned in the study step, or repeat if it tested solution did not work. Click here for a graphic interpretation of the PDCA cycle.
The PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Adjust) model is a continuous cycle of improvement that includes steps for defining, analyzing, planning, designing, testing, implementing, measuring, standardizing, and adjusting. It is continuous because each Adjust step in problem solution leads into the next Plan step for another increment of improvement. In The Outstanding Organization book you can find more on what the 12-steps of PDSA are and why it is different from PDCA.
For another action-oriented problem solving process, : Define problem, Analyze causes, Gather data, Generate solutions, Evaluate tests, Realize implementation.