THE IMPROVEMENT CYCLE (PDCA CYCLE) One of the basic need of TQM is continuous improvement.

In today’s environment if you did not improve your competitor will and in addition it will take away your market share. This has been the case with European Electrical and Electronic companies and American Automobile manufacturers who have seen Japanese competitors eating into their market share. The planning process helps to identify areas for improvement. It along with process management and employee suggestions helps to identify areas for improvement to continuously improve our processes, products and services. An ideal tool is the well known PDCA cycle. This is also called the Deming Cycle as it was developed and promoted by the American Quality Guru Edward Deming. The essential elements of PDCA cycle are :1. Select the theme or project 2. Grasp the present status 3. Analyse the cause and determine corrective action

6. Take appropriate action 7. Conclesion and Future plans



C 5. Check the effects

D 4. Implement corrective action


PLAN : A. Select the Theme or Project * * * Project background and reasons for selection Set a target Prepare a schedule of activities

B. C.

Grasp the Current Status Analyse the Cause and Determine the Corrective Action * * * Prepare cause and effect diagram Prepare a hypothesis and verify most likely cause Document the corrective action


DO : A. Implement the Corrective Action

These targets shall be reasonable. the tentative schedule of activities along with the time frame and the persons responsible for each activity shall be made. CHECK : A. qualitative or quantitative target along with the time frame for implementation shall be set. Prepare instructions and flow charts for complicated procedures Adequate training must be provided Follow the plan exactly Record any division from plan and collect the data on results Check the Effect of Corrective Action * * * Compare over all result Analyse failure to achieve results (in case of failure) Results achieved IV. The outcome of this step shall be a tentative GANTT Chart. IER or Safety Audit findings. Check Appropriate Action: * * B. Standardisation & Control Training Decide On Future Plans The well known seven Quality Control tools may be used in this process. themes identified during management review or may be the continuation of a previous project. customer complaints. Documentation. realistic and verification data shall be easily obtainable. PREPARE A SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES: In this step.* * * * III. PLAN STAGE: SELECT THE THEME OR PROJECT: This step is carried out through the following sub-steps: a) PROJECT BACKGROUND AND REASONS FOR SELECTION: The theme of the project may be selected based on department objectives. b) c) . SET A TARGET: In this stage a measurable. ACT : A.

. graphs. The implementation of the plan shall be monitored by the persons responsible (respective HODs. data as appropriate shall be collected and records maintained. from available data. collection of data. PREPARE A HYPOTHESIS AND VERIFY MOST LIKELY CAUSE: Prepare a hypothesis of the most likely causes and verify them through experiments . list them and prepare a cause and effect diagram showing the relationship of the causes with the effect. This step has the following sub-steps: a) PREPARE CAUSE AND EFFECT DIAGRAM: Identify the causes by brainstorming. QC tools such as Checklists. collecting data which is required but not available or carrying out analyses which have not been carried out earlier. etc. control charts etc shall be used as appropriate in this step. etc. Control Charts. instruction and flow charts shall be prepared for difficult procedures. DOCUMENT THE CORRECTIVE ACTION: Based on the analysis carried out in the previous step determine the appropriate corrective and preventive action and document it so that it can be understood by all team members. Project team. Appropriate QC tools such as Process Flow Charts. may be used. Use appropriate tools such as Check Sheets. As appropriate. b) c) DO STAGE: IMPLEMENT THE CORRECTIVE AND / OR PREVENTIVE ACTION: In this step the plan developed in the previous step is implemented. ANALYSE THE CAUSE AND DETERMINE THE CORRECTIVE AND/ OR PREVENTIVE ACTION: The objective of this step is to find out the root cause of the problem or analyse trends and determine the appropriate corrective and / or prevention action. Pareto Charts. adequate training shall be given to persons involved in implementation. GM or PM) . Process capability indices etc.GRASP THE CURRENT STATUS: The objective of this step is to understand a problem thoroughly with additional data if required. Checksheets. This step may involve carrying out pilot studies. Pareto analysis. scatter diagram.

. otherwise go back to the Plan Stage. we may review to see that there are no adverse side effects due to the improvement such as increase in other categories of failure. ACT STAGE TAKE APPROPRIATE FOLLOW UP ACTION The objective of this step is to ensure that the improved level of performance is maintained. ii) Planned results have been achieved : If the overall results achieved are equal to or better than the target set in the Plan Stage. As appropriate these may also be conveyed to all departments concerned. may be used. In this step the revised operating procedure or standards are documented and incorporated into the regular departmental documentation. Two possible results may be obtained by such comparison. Appropriate tools such as Bar graphs. Control Charts. Director National Productivity Council. If the failure is due to improper implementation. process capability indices etc. The results obtained during the DO STAGE are compared with the results prior to implementation of the corrective and/or preventive action. go back to the Do Stage. necessary training in the new methods shall be imparted to employees concerned. paired pareto diagrams. Dy. B. Chennai .CHECK STAGE: CHECK THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CORRECTIVE AND / OR PREVENTIVE ACTION: The objective of this step is to check the effectiveness of an action taken by comparing the results achieved with the previous results. GIRISH. i) Failure to obtain planned results : The causes of failure are reviewed. Histograms. Apart from this.