Thursday, February 09, 2017

Should I be in the Check Phase of PDCA Daily?

Below is my response on closed forum about whether doing the "check" phase of PDCA daily was too often. I expanded on my comments there a bit in this post.

The check/study phase should be reviewing the results of the experiment done in the Do the experiment phase. "Checking" how things are going during the experiment makes sense but that isn't the check/study phase of PDSA .

For example, you don't want to pay no attention during the experiment and then look at the data and discover the data shows obvious signs the operational definitions were not clear, or the process is providing very bad results. So you need to have those doing the experiment paying attention daily.

Remember one key to using the PDSA cycle is to turn through the whole cycle quickly. Daily would be exceptionally quick. Moving through the whole cycle in 2-6 weeks is more normal. Organizations successful using PDSA will quickly turn the cycle 4+ times for a specific effort (often the 2nd, 3rd... times through are much faster than the first time through).

More on how to use the PDSA well:

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