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» » PDCA-Plan Do Check Act--A detailed view


Well, Today i was going through the simple technique to solve a problem in software development process.I found this is really a help full method. It is popularly known as Shewhart cycle.
It was introduced in 1900 by Schewhart to simplify the process  in Bell Lab US to follow Problem Solving Cycle.Deming was tasked with helping Japan rebuild its economy in the 1950’s.His purpose was to use PDCA with a Continuous Improvement process to help rebuild Japanese industries so that they could compete in the world market.



Basically it is a reactive method or approach to solve a problem.This is the best process to gradually upgrade the current process .Even this simple method could lead to a world class software testing process.
The Process to build this are written as..

1.Define or adopt a strategy
2.Determine the current snapshot of process capabilities,competencies and user satisfaction.
3.Develop plan and act accordingly to upgrade the process to get more customer satisfaction.

Let us go deep inside of the model.....



 Let me explain the steps one by one...

1.Plan(To Bring Improvement)...This phase talks about the investigation phase. Here we generally identify the problem.We can use 4W stategy- Who,What,Where and When .
Write Team Mission statement.
To determine the supporting methods we can use...Brainstorming or a Cause & Effect Diagram.
Identify & agree potential Root Causes prioritizing using Paired Comparisons or by Consensus Rankings and asking the 5 WHY’s 
We can use Pareto analysis,Nominal graph technique,solution and fault tree,evaluation matrix,cause effect diagram also.
Set up methods to capture ‘REAL’ data.
Determine the key unit that will drive the improvement plan and Implement ‘QUICK FIXES’ to protect the customer
Make Process Flow Diagram
Analyse ‘REAL DATA’ & show graphically.
Benchmarking - Compare Best Practices
Brainstorm where else may they have this problem, find out what they do to resolve it.
Do:(A small scale change called Trial)..
identify the solution by brain storming or small group discussion,leadership skill experiment design,conflict resolution
Rank the solutions and choose the effective one
Do a failure prevention Analysis
Do a solution effective analysis
Now it is time to document this as a plan
Put necessary training for every member so that every body can understand the process in the trial team
Create checklist or control charts.
Prepare skill set for employees.

This is the phase where we do implement the change

Check: if the changes are working well:
Monitor if the change is working fine. Or else counter measure the real data to identify the correct path.Techniques may be...Data checklist,graphical analysis,control charts,key performance indicators.
Always collect real data to monitor
Checkout if it is working as the target set.
This phase is all about testing.




Act: To get greatest Benefit:
In this phase we check if the objective is met. If the check part is ok . Then we say we are one step up but if not then , we need to start it again.
In terms of software development except Check phase ,Plan,Do and act comes under development phase.


Decide if solution is effective & either integrate into normal working practice or abandon. If plan is abandoned, ask what has been learned by the process and, restart the project.
Techniques may be process mapping,process standarization,controlled reference formal training.
 Determine new target & start PDCA cycle again






To be continued...

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