As a manager, you have an important part to play in developing the vision that your organization aspires to achieve. To do this, you’ll need a good understanding of your organization's values and culture, as well as the wider public service context in which you are operating. Focusing on service improvement and better outcomes for individuals and communities, you’ll need to inspire others to share this vision and help you turn this vision into reality.

“It is not possible to manage what you cannot control and you cannot control what you cannot measure!” (Peter Drucker)


(plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust)

PDCA is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continual improvement of processes and products. It is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, the Shewhart cycle, the control circle/cycle, or plan–do–study–act (PDSA). Another version of this PDCA cycle is OPDCA. The added "O" stands for observation or as some versions say: "Observe the current condition." This emphasis on observation and current condition has currency with the literature on lean manufacturing and the Toyota Production System. The PDCA cycle, with Ishikawa’s changes, can be traced back to S. Mizuno of the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1959.


First of all, as a manager you have to observe the current situation, before making any decision maybe you need to go down and work with every management -as one of them-beneath your management for a certain time, for this reasons:

  • Closely understand the employees' potentials and skills.
  • Define resources.
  • Deep understanding of the current processes and activities.
  • Know how the team complies with the standard.


The planning phase involves assessing a current process, or a new process, and figuring out how it can be improved upon. Knowing what types of outputs are desired helps to develop a plan to fix or improve the process. It is often easier to plan smaller changes during this phase of the plan so that they can be easily monitored and the outputs are more predictable. Establish the objectives and necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output (the target or goals)


The do phase allows the plan from the previous step to be enacted. Small changes are usually tested, and data is gathered to see how effective the change is.


During the check phase, the data and results gathered from the do phase are evaluated. Data is compared to the expected outcomes to see many similarities and differences. The testing process is also evaluated to see if there were any changes from the original test created during the planning phase. If the data is placed in a chart it can make it easier to see any trends if the PDCA cycle is conducted multiple times. This helps to see what changes work better than others and if said changes can be improved as well.

Example: KPIs, Gap analysis, or Appraisals


If the check phase shows that the planning phase which was implemented in do phase is an improvement to the prior standard (baseline), then that becomes the new standard (baseline) for how the organization should act going forward (new standards are thus said to be enACTed). Instead, if the check phase shows that the planning phase which was implemented in do phase is not an improvement, then the existing standard (baseline) will remain in place. In either case, if the check phase showed something different than expected (whether better or worse), then there is some more learning to be done... and that will suggest potential future PDCA cycles. Note that some who teach PDCA assert that the act phase involves making adjustments or corrective actions, but generally it would be counter to PDCA thinking to propose and decide upon alternative changes without using a proper plan phase, or to make them the new standard (baseline) without going through doing and check steps.


The adjust phase is the alternative version of the active phase. Once PDCA has been run multiple times, the process generally has enough information for it to be considered a new standard. This is usually completed in the action phase. The adjust phase allows the process to continue to be monitored after the changes have been implemented and fix them accordingly. Doing this lets the PDCA cycle truly be for continuous improvement instead of changing a process and letting it become inefficient again.