Call it what you want... PDSA, PDCA, the Deming Cycle, the Shewhart Cycle... it's all the same thing. Four seemingly simple steps to eliminate the problems your company faces.
Sure looks simple... but using PDSA isn't as simple as those four steps. I wish it was that easy, but you really have to know how to utilize each of the four steps to have effective problem solving and continual improvement efforts within your organization.
You begin with the Plan Phase, and there's absolutely no substitute for a good plan. However, without a strong, and robust plan, you might as well be shooting darts with a blindfold over your eyes. Sure, sometimes you'll hit the target, but most of the time you'll probably miss.
In our e-book, Using the Deming Cycle, we take you through a case study using PDSA. Each of the four phases details how the problem solving/improvement team attacked a problem using this methodology and also lists other important aspects of continual improvement.
Deming estimated that 85% of problems in an organization were caused by inadequate processes and only 15% caused by operator error. Therefore, it simply makes sense that corrective action is taken on the process first unless you are absolutely sure that your problem was caused by operator error.
Despite this statistic, too many individuals choose what seems to be the easy way to "eliminate" a problem by talking to the operator about the problem. Yes, you will probably see short-term improvement using this method, but it is very likely that your problem will return.
So how do you prevent this from happening within your organization? You guessed it... proper use of the Deming Cycle.
What we've learned over the years is that many have oversimplified the use of this tool. I wish I could tell you it's as simple as Plan- Do- Study- Act, or PDSA, but I can't honestly do that.
A poorly executed plan will lead to horrible results. A poorly identified problem will lead to an incorrect solution. These will, in every instance, lead to poor data to analyze, and leave you wondering what to do to make the problem go away. You could just as easily chosen operator error or fire fighting and gotten the same poor result.
What we've done is to take apart the PDSA cycle and break it down into simple and effective problem solving steps.
That's right, we've written an easy to use e-book about PDSA. We eliminated as much of the technical jargon as we could... we prefer to make it easy for you to learn, rather than to put you to sleep.
Then we priced the book so that everybody could afford it! The concepts of quality and continual improvement shouldn't be beyond the reach of the masses. These important concepts should be available to anyone that needs them.
For only $8 US, you too can learn how to effectively utilize Plan- Do- Study- Act within your company. In our case study, you'll see the steps that a real-life problem solving team took to resolve a customer complaint within their organization. You'll see their process data. And you'll understand how they reached their conclusions.
What could be easier than this simple, step-by-step approach to learning how to make the Deming Cycle effective at your company?
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