Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Informal, Subconscious PDSA Experimentation

"Informal" PDSA is basically how babies and kids learn.  They don't formalize the theory they are testing but their brain is doing it for them.  If they touch the hot stove they learn hey touching that hurts.  Most brains figure out hot feeling gets super hot if I touch what appears to be the source (even without a helicopter parent telling them).  I don't want to be hurt again.  Don't touch that hot thing.  A bit old they connect the stove place as likely to be hot...  Sometimes they are a bit lame and they fail to make the connections until they get burned a couple times.

Same thing with say putting food into their mouth.  They try various ways of doing so with various levels of success.  Eventually they find good ones.  As kids get a bit older they have to modify the most effective ways of getting food to their mouth to make sure the big huge person sitting next to them doesn't stop them (factoring in "manners" as part of what is needed not just efficiency).

Kids really are amazing at doing "informal PDSA."  But their are ways to get even better by realizing what you are testing consciously.  Especially as systems get complex relying on your brain decoding everything behind the scenes (doing its own subconscious pdsa) gets less reliable.

Response to: PDCA – So Simple, It’s Child’s Play

Related: Encouraging Curiosity in Kids - Experience Teaches Nothing Without Theory - Keys to the Effective Use of the PDSA Improvement Cycle

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