Plan, Do, Study, Adjust: The Engine of Continuous Improvement

“The organization shall continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system through the use of the quality policy, quality objectives, audit results, analysis of data, corrective and preventive action, and management review.”


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ISO 9000:2000 Section 8.5.1 reads: “The organization shall continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system through the use of the quality policy, quality objectives, audit results, analysis of data, corrective and preventive action, and management review.”

In TS16949:2009 it reads: Continual Improvement of the Organization “The organization must defi ne a process for continual improvement.” Manufacturing Process Improvement “Manufacturing process improvement must continually focus on control and reduction of variation in product characteristics and manufacturing process parameters.”
The standard defi ned continual improvement as: “recurring activity to increase the ability to fulfi ll

Recurring activity. To me, that means “cycle.” Plan, Do, Study, Adjust (PDSA). It is not a wheel;
PDSA is a continuous cycle of cycles! Karen Martin shared this graphical representation of PDSA in her book, “The Outstanding Organization.”

Plan. Do. Study. Adjust. This is the process of continuous (continual) improvement or The Deming Cycle.
Plan. Do. Study. Adjust. It’s what we do.

All Craftsman’s Cribsheets are available for viewing and download at short.productionmachining.com/cribsheets.