5 Tips On PDCA: Team-Wide Implementation

5 Tips On PDCA: Team-Wide Implementation

A diagram showing the PDCA Cycle Image via Wikipedia

1. Decide When to Use a PDCA

The beauty of the PDCA cycle is that it can be used as a tool for the most simple project, for complex and intricately detailed projects, or as an effective tool for company-wide policy change.

Use a PDCA:

  • For development of a new product or service
  • For improvement of an existing product or service
  • For creating formal policy and formal work process flow
  • For analysis and collection of data for problem solving existing issues
  • To create a policy for continuous improvement* As a tool for seamless implementation of any change (small...or epic)

2. Make it Policy

An exemplary example of PDCA usage is Medical City Dallas. Medical City has embedded PDCA into their work processes and their PDCA model is used continuously in improvement of care and services. Senior leadership guided and directed the change and planned a company-wide kick-off event that was fun and interactive, not another policy change meeting. Teams were created that involved the people who actually implement every stage of the PDCA cycle: the front-line staff.

Get buy-in from your front-line staff by soliciting their feedback in the planning stages of the PDCA. This is absolutely essential and is often the most neglected phase of initiation of PDCA implementation. A PDCA has to be structured using feedback from the people who are doing the actual work.

3. Roll-out the PDCA Cycle Company-Wide

After rolling out the policy with a formal kick-off, Medical City used various methods to deployment to every organizational level:

  • Training for supervisors, team leads, and front-line staff
  • Development of a desk-aide (or template) for ensuring that the PDCA is a visible, living policy document for staff
  • Publicize PDCA accomplishments. Medical City highlighted direct-result accomplishments of their PDCA model during their observance of National Patient Safety Week
4. Commit to Keeping PDCA Circular

When implementing PDCA (Plan:Do:Check:Act), the most important thing to keep in mind is that PDCA is not designed as a one-way project plan. The PDCA design is circular, which means that any one of the four processes can be revisited and repeated as needed for refinement and correction. Consider a regularly scheduled review of the PDCA, or make the review a part of monthly leadership meetings.

5. Make the PDCA Cycle a Living ModelMake it a part of your company-wide staff meetings. Give front-line staff the opportunity to offer honest feedback about each stage of the process. The PDCA cycle can be repeated for continuous improvement, and can be revised as needed. Outside of data, your subject matter experts are the only people who can tell you how the PDCA changes are working at the front-line level.

This article was written by Tiffany Willis, guest blogger and expert
in the Logistics / Supply Chain category at www.yoexpert.com

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Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group

LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

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