PDCA is a common term used when practicing lean. The acronym stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act and is also known as the Deming wheel. PDCA is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products.

While many people have heard of or practiced PDCA, far less have heard of PDSA, Plan-Do-Study-Act. By replacing the Check with Study, we can better understand that we should study the results of one’s experiment and then make adjustments based on the results from the countermeasure(s) put in place to test the hypothesis. According to Karen Martin, people often mistake check for making sure that everyone is following the new process rather than checking the results of the experiment and adjusting the countermeasures accordingly. To read why Karen prefers PDSA check out her guest blog post from Mark Graban’s blog on lean.

Which cycle do you prefer?