An iterative four-step problem-solving process typically used in business process improvement is known as the Shewhart cycle, Deming Wheel, or Plan-Do-Study-Act. It is also referred to as Plan-Do-Check-Action.
What is Deming Circle?
The Deming Circle, also known as the Shewhart cycle, Deming Wheel, or Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA), is a problem-solving process widely used in business process improvement. It is a simple yet effective approach that allows organizations to continuously improve their operations and achieve better results.
The Deming Circle consists of four steps: Plan, Do, Study, and Act. Each step plays a crucial role in the problem-solving process and contributes to the overall improvement of a business process.
The first step, Plan, involves identifying the problem or opportunity for improvement and developing a plan to address it. This includes setting clear objectives, defining the scope of the project, and determining the resources required. Planning is essential as it lays the foundation for the subsequent steps and ensures that the improvement efforts are focused and aligned with the organization's goals.
Once the plan is in place, the second step, Do, involves implementing the planned changes or improvements. This step requires careful execution of the plan, ensuring that all necessary actions are taken to bring about the desired improvements. It is important to document the changes made during this step to facilitate the subsequent analysis and evaluation.
The third step, Study, focuses on evaluating the results of the implemented changes. This involves collecting and analyzing data to assess the impact of the improvements on the business process. The study phase helps identify any gaps or discrepancies between the expected and actual outcomes, allowing organizations to gain insights into the effectiveness of their improvement efforts.
Based on the findings from the study phase, the fourth and final step, Act, involves taking appropriate actions to standardize the improvements or make further adjustments. This step ensures that the improvements are sustained and integrated into the regular operations of the organization. It may involve updating standard operating procedures, providing training to employees, or implementing new systems or technologies.
The Deming Circle is a continuous improvement cycle, meaning that it is meant to be repeated over and over again. After completing the Act phase, organizations can start the cycle again by identifying new problems or areas for improvement. This iterative approach allows businesses to continuously learn, adapt, and refine their processes, leading to ongoing improvements and increased efficiency.
In addition to the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) terminology, the Deming Circle is also referred to as Plan-Do-Check-Action (PDCA). Both terms describe the same four-step process and can be used interchangeably.
Overall, the Deming Circle is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to improve their business processes. By following this iterative problem-solving approach, businesses can drive continuous improvement, enhance customer satisfaction, and achieve better overall performance.