gears

PDSA cycle

Overview

The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle is used to help conceptualise the process of continuous, and iterative, improvement.

Also known as

  • Deming cycle.
  • Improvement cycle.
  • Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle.

The tool

The model ensures impacts of incremental improvement actions are monitored, measured, learned from, and responded to in appropriate ways.

The four stages of the cycle are show in the following table.

Stages of a projectDescription
Plan
  • Plan the improvement activity.
  • Plan ahead for change.
Do
  • Carry out improvements or change according to plan.
Study
  • Measure, monitor and study the results of the improvement or change activity.
Act
  • Take appropriate action to adapt the improvement or change.
  • Learning from the experience should be incorporated into planning new activities.

The PDSA cycle is sometimes also described as a spiral to emphasize the repetition of stages in the cycle. [KS – Add diagram]

Why use it

When to use it

How to use it

Strengths

Weaknesses

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Additional information