PDSA . Do vs. Act LO23071

Walter Prevalnig (Prevalnig@compuserve.com)
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 16:03:50 -0500

Replying to LO23020

>John, Walt, others...

>In Deming's PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) cycle, what distinction did Deming
>intend between "Do" and "Act?"

Deming's PDSA cycle in a nutshell.

We begin with a question to answer, a hypothesis, "if we do this, then
that". This is a prediction of the future, with the risk of being wrong .
So we create a PLAN to learn about the question.

We DO the plan to see what we can learn. Ideally we do it off line or on a
small scale because our prediction may be wrong.

We STUDY to see what we have learned. The use of the Deming cycle in this
manner creates a safe learning environment because we cannot loose. We
are guaranteed to learn one of three things. Yes, no, or maybe later.

Now we ACT on the learning and repeat the cycle.

Contrast this to the more commonly used PDCA cycle. Management thinks
they can predict the future so they develop a PLAN. They delegate someone
to DO it. Then they CHECK. Mostly they do not get what they wanted , so
they ACT. They shoot the messenger.

There is a world of difference between those two little letters. Do S ,
not C.

Best regards,


"Building Learning Organizations"
Visit our website at: < http://www.prevalnig.com>


Walter Prevalnig <Prevalnig@compuserve.com>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>