Software for the application of the Deming Cycle in the factory
Deming Cycle - fundamentals
The Demimng cycle is an element of the continuous improvement process developed in the 1950s by the American statistician William Edwards Deming as an iterative, 4-step Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA).
This approach was later modified and popularized by Deming's associate at Bell Laboratories, Walter Shewhart, under the name PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act). The name of the third step, "Study", better than "Check" reflects the actions taken and the intended results in this phase of the cycle.
What characterizes the PDCA/PDSA cycle is the extremely simple use of a scientific approach (scientific method) that can be applied to solving all kinds of problems, not only in the production plant. The scientific method is based on the cyclical formulation and testing of hypotheses, the analysis of the results obtained, and the drawing of conclusions and correction of the original theory. The Deming cycle owes its approach to the scientific method.
Deming Cycle stages
The Demimng Cycle is a 4-step, iterative process of continuous improvement, by definition infinite as the potential for improvement is unlimited, and the improvements applied in the previous cycle are the starting point for the improvement hypotheses in the next stage.
1. "Plan" is the first and the most important stage in the cycle because the consequences of actions - both positive and negative - will affect the efficiency and results of the next phases of the cycle. So it is worth resisting the temptation to jump to the action stage (Do) without in-depth analysis of the problem and developing an action plan. The steps to be taken in the planning phase are:
- Identification of the problem, e.g. excessive number of complaints from customers, increase in the value of scrap, low production efficiency, instability of the technological process, frequent machine failures
- Identification of potential root causes - one of the methods designed for this purpose can be used, e.g. Ishikawa Diagram (Fishbone Diagram)
- Review of historical data, e.g. periodic reports, signals from machines, correspondence with customers
- Defining goals that will be the basis for measuring success after applying and estimating the results of the implemented changes
- Creating an action plan, the so-called experiments that are designed to test the hypotheses
2. "Do" is the stage in which the action plan developed in the previous phase is implemented to a minimum extent. It is a kind of prototype on the basis of which the hypothesis and corrective actions are tested, and all data necessary for the analysis carried out in the next phase is collected.
3. "Study" is the stage in which all data obtained in the previous phase of the cycle is analyzed. For the analysis, you can use many well-known tools, such as: Pareto chart, other charts, tabular reports, in short, everything that will allow:
- to compare the current state with the previous state
- to compare the current state with the expected situation
- to determine whether the intended goal has been achieved
4. "Act" is the last stage of the cycle in which, based on the results of the analyzes from the "Study" stage, a decision is made to implement the tested changes to a greater extent or to abandon the hypothesis and go straight to the first phase of the next cycle. The continuous improvement process based on PDCA is theoretically endless. Therefore, regardless of whether the hypothesis has been positively validated or not, after completing the "Act" step, another cycle should be started with the results of the analyzes and the knowledge gained.
PDCA/PDSA Cycle in the Action Plan
The Action Plan software enables you to implement a PDCA/PDSA Continuous Improvement Scheme and monitor the process at every stage. The system provides many tools that have been designed so that those responsible for introducing and supervising continuous improvement using the Deming Cycle have full knowledge about the progress of work and the results obtained.
It is impossible to list here all the system functions that are useful in the implementation of PDCA. Therefore, only the most important ones are listed below:
- Creating both simple and advanced action plans with properly assigned responsibilities and specific deadlines
- Access to reports and charts in real time, as well as the ability to export raw data to the XLSX format for more specific analyzes
- Automatic supervision of the timeliness of activities combined with sending e-mail and phone notifications
- The ability to define multiple controls of implemented changes at any time in the future to assess their effectiveness
- Observation of the extent and trend of improvement over many PDCA/PDSA cycles
- Access to ready-made templates of action plans used in the continuous improvement process using the Deming Cycle
Key benefits of implementing the Deming Cycle using Action Plan software
Well-organized process of continuous improvement - Action Plan software is dedicated to the implementation of the policy of continuous improvement, also with the use of the PDCA / PDSA Cycle. As a result, all input data, information on the progress of the process, as well as the results of analyzes are contained in one easily accessible tool in a structured form.
Time saving - the information obtained from current application users shows that they achieve between 50% and 75% savings in the time they have so far spent on managing action plans and carrying out tasks as part of the implementation of the policy of continuous improvement in the organization.
Greater team involvement - Having a tool thanks to which each participant in the continuous improvement process can undertake and perform the assigned task from a computer, tablet or phone, increases the involvement of the entire staff and improves the effectiveness of interdepartmental cooperation.
How to use Action Plan in 3 steps?
Click on the link below and fill out a short form in which we will ask you to provide some basic information about your organization.
One of our specialists will contact you and arrange an online meeting with you, where you will see how the Action Plan could work in your organization.
Based on the information obtained, we will prepare a properly configured Action Plan and make it available for free testing for up to 60 days! During the test period, we will help you use the tool as efficiently as possible.