I recently attended a Scaled Agile Training as well as I have been listening to CD’s by Orrin Woodward. A common theme was this idea of PDCA.
PDCA was made popular by Edward Demming. His lean thinking has had a huge impact on the world.
No matter what you’re doing, have a plan. Whether you’re planning a party, your next career move, or your vacation, it’s important to have a plan.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Execute your plan. No matter what it is, follow the decisions you made earlier. Your actions speak louder than words. Be a doer.
― Amit Kalantri
Most people plan and do, but do not check and adjust. Reflect on your plan and its results. If you take time to reflect, you will notice areas that need to be improved. Continuos improvement each and every day is what makes the difference.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
– Peter Drucker
Now that you learned from checking your results, update your plan and your actions.
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
This principle is powerful. Once you grasp the concept and you’ll see many opportunities to apply PDCA. You are on the road to continuous improvement. After living in China, I realized that American’s tend to be too impatient to take the time for continuos improvement. Instead, we tend to focus more on instant gratification. Once you understand this principle and begin to apply it to other areas of your life, you will begin to see better results.