PDSA or PDCA Model – It is all Quality Improvement

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.  Read the ASQ (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, see 6-step DAGGER: Define problem, Analyze causes, Gather data, Generate solutions, Evaluate tests, Realize implementation.

1 comment:

Shirley Fine Lee said...

Thanks for the suggestion Dannielo! I think readers should know that GTD (aka Get Things Done) is a goal setting and project tracking tool. It may be useful in the action planning and measurement part of the cycle. I would sugges that the project manager sign-up for the free version to verify tool useufullness before suggesting deployment to entire quality improvement team.