Improve #11: From PDCA to QI Process

Updated: Mar 13

It was exciting to learn that the PDCA cycle applies to real life. Johnny's inspiring story (Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3) shows us that spinning the PDCA wheel leads to substantial and permanent improvement. By applying the PDCA cycle, he went from financial disaster to financial freedom one cycle at a time!

Believe it or not, the PDCA cycle works for all kinds of industries. In fact, the ISO 9001 standard for superior performance is rooted in the PDCA or Deming cycle.

As we have discussed before, car manufacturers have implemented Quality Improvement in their processes and products. Do you recognize this car logo?

Toyota is not only an example in terms of making the most reliable cars in the world, but they are a standard of quality. We enjoy their cars, but there is a reason for their success. There is so much to say about Toyota's passion for quality, that many books have been written on the Toyota Way for management, leadership, and continuous improvement. The following is Toyota's 8-step process for problem-solving and quality improvement.


1. Clarify the Problem 2. Breakdown the Problem 3. Set the Target 4. Analyze the Root Cause 5. Develop Countermeasures 6. Implement Countermeasures 7. Monitor Results and Process 8. Standardize and Share Success


If you understood the PDCA cycle, you will identify that the PLAN phase involves steps 1,2,3,4, and 5. The DO phase is the same as step 6. The CHECK phase is step 7. Lastly, the ACT phase is step 8.


Just like Toyota, many businesses have found substantial, permanent, and increasing success due to their dedication to quality improvement. PDCA leads to the 8 steps, and the 8 steps lead to true problem-solving for quality improvement.

During the following days, we will break down this process as we prepare to implement quality improvement in YOUR particular line of work. Whether you work on drafting floor plans, producing intricate engineered drawings, with project coordination, account receivables, or quality control - no matter your area of work - there is room for improvement.


In light of the PDCA cycle and the 8 steps above, start thinking of how you can implement the quality improvement process in your own daily work. More will be coming in the next few days of the IMPROVE! series. Please use the comment section below to share your ideas!



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