Deming Cycle (PDSA)

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Short biography of W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming was an American statistician. He is associated with the rise of Japan as a manufacturing nation, and with the invention of Total Quality Management (TQM). Along with an other American quality guru - J.M. Juran, Deming went to Japan as part of the allied occupation forces after World War II. Deming taught a lot of Quality Improvement methods to the Japanese, including the usage of statistics and the PDSA cycle. In 1960 he was awarded a medal by the Japanese Emperor for his services to that country's industry.

The Deming Cycle (PDSA cycle) (PDCA cycle)

Deming Cycle PDSA PDCA

The Deming Cycle, or PDSA cycle, is a model for continuous improvement of quality. It consists of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement and learning: PLAN, DO, STUDY (CHECK) and ACT. The PDCA cycle is also known as the Deming Cycle, or as the Deming Wheel or as the Continuous Improvement Spiral. It originated in the 1920s with the eminent statistics expert Mr. Walter A. Shewhart, who introduced the concept of Plan, Do and See. Deming modified the cycle of Shewart towards: PLAN, DO, STUDY and ACT.
The Deming Cycle is related to Kaizen thinking and Just-in-time manufacturing.

Benefits of the Deming Cycle

  • Daily routine management-for the individual and/or the team,
  • The problem solving process,
  • Project management,
  • Continuous development,
  • Vendor development,
  • Human resources development,
  • New product development, and
  • Process trials.

The 4 parts of the Deming Cycle explained

  • PLAN. Plan ahead for change. Analyze and predict the results.
  • DO it. Execute the plan, taking small steps in controlled circumstances.
  • STUDY (check). Study the results.
  • ACT. Take action to standardize or improve the process.

The Deming Management Method explained by Mary Watson

In her book "The Deming Management Method" Mary Watson tells about the life of the business guru Edwards Deming. The industrial miracle in Japan was a prime example of what can happen when a nation commits itself to quality and long-range vision instead of the latest illness: "Turning a Fast Buck-itis." In less then 50 years, Japan went from making cheap and low added value products, towards manufacturing of the highest quality precision work in the world. When Dr. Deming first began speaking in America, America was still riding along on the post-war victory wave. No one would listen to him. The Japanese welcomed him, and even today, traces of his quality-control methods are still seen in the industrial workplace.

Book: Mary Watson - The Deming Management Method

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Continuous Quality Improvement Special Interest Group.

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Forum discussions about Continuous Quality Improvement. Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

topic What are Quality Circles?
In short, a quality circle (QC) is a participatory group of employees, aimed at solving problems related to their own jobs. They are normally found in manufacturing environments. Definition of qualit...
Comments18 comments
topic PDCA and ISO 9001 Standard
The ISO 9001 standard is based on the PDCA principle. You could say all certified companies are using PDCA. However there are great differences in to what extent the companies are getting real value ...
Comments2 comments
topic Deming / Shewhart Cycle Works Well
My opinion, the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle DOES work very well, even in the US. But, only if it is clearly understood, embraced and applied in an accountable manner. If people "have no real idea of w...
topic PDCA + Fayol's Theory + PMBOK
My own company is working on a new product development and transformation of management and conduct. For both projects, we applied the PDCA method into our application, but it seems not adequate enoug...
topic View & Review (PDSA) in Management
Management seems a fairly simple game… I often suggest to myself and my colleagues to RE-VISIT the issues to keep steering properly. In this context I remember Mahatma Mohan Karamchand Gandhi who use...
Comments1 comments
🔥 Continuous Improvement is a Lifestyle
I do believe that everybody is much more than he thinks to be, that’s why development & improvement are to me not only a paradigm for people, processes and technologies: it is a lifestyle. In my prof...
Comments3 comments
topic Investors in People - IiP
Investors in People is a HRM model which sets out a level of good practice for the training and development of people in order to achieve business goals. It is clearly based on the Deming Cycle. The I...
Comments3 comments

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Best Practices

The best, top-rated topics about Continuous Quality Improvement. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 Kanban / Kaizen / JIT Manufacturing does not Work in the USA
I have just completed my first exposure to Kanban / Kaizen JIT manufacturing as an assembly technician. The system does not work in the USA! The problem is - as I see it - that when you take away st...
Comments6 comments

🥈 Risks and Challenges in applying the Deming Cycle
What are the main risks and challenges in the execution of the Deming cycle method? Thanks......
Comments2 comments

🥉 Deming / Nelson Funnel Experiment
I am researching the Deming / Nelson funnel experiment. Have any of you used it? How? What results did you achieve? I am especially interested in using the Deming / Nelson funnel to introduce continuo...
Comments1 comments

topic Deming Cycle Supports Growth of Organisations
Improvements of operations or processes is vital for fast growing organizations, so I find Deming's cycle a good model to use....
topic Deming Cycle is a Spiral
I like to conceptulaize the Deming cycle as a spiral, moving outward with each full turn, rather than a circle coming back to the same point. The idea is that improvement opens new space and leads to ...
Comments5 comments

topic How can We Put Deming's PDCA Theory in to Practice?
It is an excellent method that was introduced by Prof. Deming, but my fear is: how many of us are using it in the real work life? Are Bill Gates or Warren Buffer using these theories in their practica...
Comments5 comments

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Continuous Quality Improvement. Here you will find professional advices by experts.


How to Prepare for a PDCA?

The 5 Steps to Prepare for PDCA | FOCUS PDCA | FOCUS PDSA
Any PDCA process can be preceded and prepared with a FOCUS process. FOCUS is an acronym for Find, Organize, Clarify, Unc...

Capturing Learned Lessons

Check / Study Phase
Knowledge from bad and good experiences will lead you and your organization to better future performance. You can improv...

Alternate Process Improvement Model

Process Improvement, Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, CMM
The IDEAL Model. Originally, the IDEAL model was a life-cycle model for software process improvement based upon the Cap...

Levels of Quality Management

Implementation of Quality Philosophy
Joseph M. Juran taught quality approaches to the Japanese, and has been a significant academic in the quality focus worl...

The Deming Prize

Deming Cycle Benefits
According to Dr. Samuel C. Certo Dean of school of business at Rollins College, the Deming Prize was established in 1951...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Continuous Quality Improvement. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.


Total Quality Management

Organizational Development
Karen Hopper Wruck and Michael C. Jensen analyze Total Quality Management (TQM) from an economic and organizational pers...

Sustainable Development of TQM with PDCA

Total Quality Management, Sustainable Development
Presentation by G. Karuppusami about realizing Sustainable TQM through Deming’s cycle. In order to explain how the PDSA-...

Introduction and Summary of Deming Cycle: PDCA (Plan Do Check Act)

Initial understanding of PDCA, Trainings, Workshops
The Plan Do Check Act cycle for continual improvement: - Plan: find out what matters most - Do: create a solution and ...

Deming Cycle Diagram

Continuous Quality Improvement
Download and edit this 12manage PowerPoint graphic for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing in ...

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Compare with the Deming Cycle: Hoshin Kanri - Policy Deployment  |  8D Problem Solving  |  Six Sigma  |  Value Chain  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  Quality Function Deployment  |  OODA Loop  |  Fourteen Points of Management  |  Training Within Industry  |  Value Engineering

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Program & Project Management  |  Supply Chain & Quality

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