PDSA.. Do vs. Act? LO23085 -was: Boundaryless Organization

Geof Fountain (gffountain@prodigy.net)
Mon, 1 Nov 1999 22:26:53 -0500

Replying to LO23020 --

Dan said --

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

I don't know for sure, but I always read it to mean:

plan (strategize),
do (implement) your plan,
study the results,
modify you plan (strategy),

and then "do" some more.

Sounds like a learning cycle we go through as individuals. To learn to
swing a golf club is definitely not a one-time event. A person would go
through many iterations of the PDSA cycle:

* plan - read up or watch someone swing and then develop your strategy for
hitting the ball
* do - swing and hit the ball
* study - observe the results
* act - based on comparison of results to expectations, change your
strategy as needed

and then do again.

One could transfer this model to a systemic-based strategic planning
process (I like the term "continuous learning process"):

plan - systemic change
do - the system performing its' work
study - observation of systemic behavior or outcomes
act - assess the outcome to the expectations and decide on additional
systemic changes

Below is a visual loop of an iterative systemic planning (learning) cycle
(excuse the rudimentary sketch).

[Host's Note: character graphic sketch was mauled by gateways enroute to
the LO input queue. Too bad... Rick]

systemic change
( plan)

< assessment


Geof Fountain gffountain@prodigy.com

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