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PDCA Improvement Cycle

The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is a four-step model for carrying out positive change in repetitive, goal-oriented activities.


1. Plan an Improvement

Recognize an improvement opportunity and plan a change, usually in a process and/or a tool.

2. Do a Change

Try out the planned improvement, at least on a small scale, and see how it works.

3. Check the Results

Review the results of the initial trial implementation, and identify lessons learned, determining what worked as planned and what didn’t.

4. Act on Your Learnings

Based on the results reviewed, take appropriate action to implement the improvement on a more ongoing basis, with possible adjustments based on lessons learned from the Do and Check steps.


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