PDCA Cycle: Know what it is and how to apply it in your business

Optimize processes, solve general issues and keep a company closer to the goals. These are some common desires of any business, and to achieve them, the PDCA cycle is a recommended management method.

With a strategic proposal, it leads managers to find solutions as yet unknown. The goal is to generate paths for various issues that a company can meet.

This post will show in detail how PDCA works, how it should be applied, and what its benefits are. Check out!

What is the PDCA cycle?

The PDCA cycle is a management methodology widely known and used in the corporate environment. Its success is linked to the fact that it is totally strategic, that is, it aims to put the company in the way of the best results.

Within this context, the PDCA is focused on solving issues, always working on continuous process improvement.

During business management, many problems will appear. Some expected, others not so many. The different levels of these issues demand bolder and efficient outputs. In such cases, more strategic tools, such as the PDCA, are needed to find the ideal solution.

An important point is the relevance of this method over the long term. Once the solution to a problem is found, it can later be standardized and used multiple times in different scenarios. PDCA becomes an important outlet for evaluating the company’s processes and keeping them always at a high level.

Solutions also for products

The management method can also have its intended use for products. In this case, the proposal is in the search for improvement of the solution in customer service. The optimization is able to guarantee a better place in the market and brings a more positive evaluation for the consumer.

How does the PDCA run?

The four words PDCA represent the phases of execution of this methodology of management:

P = Plan

D = Do

C = Check

A = Act

In a continuous cycle, the steps are repeated whenever new strategic planning is required for the company. Next, know in detail what each of the phases of the cycle proposes.

P – Planning

Planning marks the beginning of PDCA’s work process. At that point, the maximum amount of information is cleared so that the goal is understood and the goals are set. As a basis for the development of this stage, the company’s guidelines are always considered.

This first phase is also divided into stages of understanding the problem, being: identification, observation, analysis and action planning.

The moment identification is the time to point out the problem. In it, we must detect what is happening and what consequences are generated. All the negative points and a deadline for the solution of the question are drawn.

At the time of observation, as the classification suggests, one must understand all the details and the depth of the problem. Several people should be involved at this point for a broad understanding, especially about the origin.

In the analysis, the understanding is focused on the cause of the problem. Studying hypotheses, understanding which is likely and relevant are the main works. In the action plan, there is the development of solutions, involving the team present in all other stages. The resources are defined, respecting the budget.

D – Execution

This step describes the execution of everything that has been observed, detailed, and studied in planning. In it, every team involved also works in training and preparation for the phase to be a success.

Managers should follow this moment closely. Everything must be conducted with perfection, within the guidelines and respecting the initial analysis. The chosen methods of execution must be considered and all results properly measured. Deadlines should also be duly complied with.

C – Checking

At check-in, all work done in the previous stage is analyzed. The results are checked and measured correctly, always compared to what was defined in planning. The check does not need to be done only after execution. It can also run parallel to it as quality control.

The check also compares the current timing, that is, the results of the execution, with the previous frame of the company. Only in this way is it possible to evaluate whether the work was done in the right way and if it brought results that meet expectations. Otherwise, you must restart from the planning.

A – Action

Finally, the phase of action is that in which there is the application of measures of correction of the observed problems. Here it is possible to understand the problems and the mechanisms of solutions found. Also, possible failures are observed in previous steps and, if found, it is necessary to restart the cycle.

The continuity of work ensures that the company will always be able to detect, evaluate and work on their problems. Only then it is possible to have continuous process optimization and deal with various issues in the right way. Each new setback can be viewed more objectively.

What are the benefits of using this method?

The PDCA cycle brings the results of great value to companies. With better processes and agile solutions to problems, it is possible to reap good results. Here are some of the benefits the tool provides.

Increased productivity

With the right tools, the intended results are obtained with less effort. The PDCA Cycle enhances productivity and empowers staff to optimize and troubleshoot accurately and with more surgical work.

Optimization of working time

The management methodologies aim to direct the efforts in the right way. Therefore, the same is achieved with PDCA. The goals are achieved in less time, because of the most appropriate tool that actually detects problems.

Team Improvement

The benefit of PDCA is also absorbed by the teams that make use of it. During the process, going through all phases, it is possible for professionals to develop. Learning and training are key to these steps.

The PDCA is a competent and widely used management tool. It enables employees ready to handle the processes, always seeking optimization and solving problems.

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