The Deming wheel, otherwise known as PDCA, is a continuous improvement approach, or kaizen, used in Lean management and quality management.
It is a sequential method of project management and improvement which allows to execute a work in an efficient and rational way by improving the internal process of a company.
History of Deming wheel: It is William Edwards Deming (1900-1993), famous American statistician, who introduced, as early as 1950, the dynamics of continuous improvement with the “Deming PDCA cycle” in order to get the Japanese industry moving again.
The PDCA method, for Plan Do Check Act, aims at repeating cycles of actions during the stage of a project or a production line to improve the performance of a company.
This method consists in the succession of four distinct steps:
1- Plan ahead
Let’s take a closer look at the different steps of the PDCA method.
This first step consists of identifying the problem that we want to address by preparing the change or improvement.
It is then a matter of :
Finally, the objectives are written and the action plan is created.
This first step is the most important because the entire cycle is based on it. It is important not to neglect it by wanting to move too quickly to action.
The second step consists of the implementation of the solution planned in the previous step.
This step consists of carrying out the comparative test or experiment while respecting the provisions defined in the first step.
This step consists of collecting, studying and interpreting the results. The following questions can then be asked:
For this step, there are three possible situations:
The PDCA method is widely used in companies because it can be adapted to many contexts, such as improving the management of information flows.
It allows to significantly improve the company’s performance over the cycles.
Experience plays a key role in this culture of continuous improvement by ensuring that each cycle is more virtuous than the previous one.
Written par Emma Guignard