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Chapter: Mechanical : Total Quality Management (TQM) : Principles

The PDCA Cycle

The basic Plan – Do – Study – Act cycle was originally developed by W alter A. Shewart. But it was popularized by Edward Deming and that’s why it is often called the Demi ng Cycle or Deming Wheel. It is an effective continuo us improvement technique.







Ø   Identify the Problem

§    Pareto analysis of external a larm signals.

§    Pareto analysis of internal alarm signals.

§    Proposals from key insiders.

§    Proposals from suggestion schemes.

§    Field study of user’s needs.


§    Comments of key people ou tside the organization.

§    Customer surveys.

§    Employee surveys.

§    Brainstorming by work grou ps.

Ø   Form the Team

§    Team should be selected.


§     Goals and milestones are es tablished. Ø Define the Scope.


Criteria for a good problem sta tement is as follows


§    It clearly describes the prob lem.

§    It states the effect.

§    It focuses on what is known, unknown etc.

§    It emphasizes the impact on the customer.




The objective is to understand the process and how it is currently performed.


Step 1 : The team to develop a pr ocess flow diagram.

Step 2 : The target performance m easures are defined.

Step 3 : Collection of all available data and information.


Common items of data and information are

1.        Customer information

2.        Design information

3.        Process information

4.        Statistical information

5.        Quality information

6.        Supplier information




This phase has the objective of establishing potential and feasible solutions and recommending the best solution to improve the process.


Ø  Creativity plays the major role, and brainstorming is the principal technique.

Ø  There are three types of creativity:

§    Create new processes

§    Combine different processes

§    Modify the existing process




This phase has the objective of preparing the implementation plan, obtaining approval and implementing the process improvements.


Ø    Approval of the quality council.

Ø    Obtain the advice and consent of departments, functional areas, teams, individuals etc.

Ø    Monitor the activity.




This phase has the objective of monitoring and evaluating the change by tracking and studying the effectiveness of the improvement efforts.




Ø      Institutionalize by positive control of the process.


Ø The quality peripherals the system, environment and supervision must be certified. Ø Operators must be certified.




The objective is to achieve improved level of process performance.

Ø    Regularly conduct reviews of progress by the quality council.

Ø    Establish the systems to identify area for future improvements.

Ø    Track performance with respective internal & external customers.

Ø    TQM tools and techniques are used to improve quality, delivery and cost.





The basic Plan Do Study Act cycle was originally developed by W alter A. Shewart. But it was popularized by Edward Deming and that’s why it is often called the Demi ng Cycle or Deming Wheel. It is an effective continuo us improvement technique.



The PDSA Cycle

What is PDSA Cycle?


PDSA stands for Plan, D o, Study, and Act. It is a model for testing ideas that you think may


create improvement.


·        It is an extremely practical, common sense based approach that is easy to understand.


·        It can be used to test ideas for improvement quickly and easily based on existing ideas, research, feedback, theory, review, audit, etc.


·        It encourages starting with small changes, which can build into large improvements in the service through successive quick cycles of change.


·        Illustrates the PDSA cycle.



Phases of PDSA Cycle


The four phases of PDSA cycle and their descriptions are presented in Table.


Phases of PDSA Cycle


Phases : Description


1. Plan


•  Define the problem

• Analyze the causes and draft an action plan for solving the problem. • Determine the quality objectives and the critical factors.

•  Define the performance indicators.

• Collect and analyze the necessary process data. • Generate possible solutions

•        Select the most feasible solution; and work it out.


2.       Do


•        First, implement the plan on a limited scale or conduct an experiment to test the proposed improvement. Collection data is hereby essential.

•  Train all involved employees in the use of quality improvement methods and techniques.

•        Describe the process which is considered for improvement and form project teams to lead the process.


3.       Check


•  Evaluate the trial project with the performance indicators.

•  Verify whether the improvement has been successful or not.


4.       Act


•        Act to implement proven improvements. The choices are: introduce the plan, adjust or reject it.

•        The improvements are documented in standard procedures so all employees are well-informed on how to handle in future.

•        Usually, the cycle will be repeated under the different circumstances and conditions to test how consistent the results are.


Continuous Process Improvement Cycle Using PDCA


The relationship between the PDSA cycle and eleven steps to continuous process improvement are illustrated in figure.


Each phase of the PDCA cycle must undergo its own PDCA cycle for further improvements, as shown in figure.



Benefits of the PDSA Cycle


The benefits of the PDSA cycle can be experienced in the following areas:


·        Daily routine management for the individual and / or the team.


·        Problem-solving process.

·        Project management

·        Continuous development


·        Vendor development

·        Human resources development

·        New product developmen t

·        Process trials


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Mechanical : Total Quality Management (TQM) : Principles : The PDCA Cycle |

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