The Plan Do Check Act Cycle (PDCA) is a strategic planning cycle employed in manufacturing for the proper development and implementation of internal operations. It is also referred to as the production wheel/shelf/arc concept, the Shewhart concept, or the control circle concept. This concept is a generalization of a number of organizational concepts that have been used throughout history, from primitive cultures to the most advanced industrial organization. The focus on this concept is to develop a set of organizational procedures and systems which make it easier to ensure that the process of production meets the desired result. For instance, if there are two steps in a production process, one proceeding with the production process and another evaluating the output, both of which must be properly followed to produce the product, a Plan Do Check Act Cycle can be used as a tool by managers to manage these steps. This process is useful when dealing with a complex set of tasks, such as those involved in the production, quality assurance, product development, and financing of manufacturing costs.
A common requirement for business management is that there be a constant drive for continuous improvement within all processes. PDCA's plan-do-check-act model can be used as a tool to provide a consistently improved system of procedures and systems which will make it possible to achieve this. There are many elements of this model, including the use of a common goal or objective, defining and documenting related process steps, developing an integrated enterprise excellence plan, continuous evaluation of performance against predetermined criteria, integration of systems and processes, and the use of feedback mechanisms to facilitate improvement. While this may seem like a complex model to implement, it is very flexible in how it is applied and highly effective for a wide variety of business management scenarios.
A key requirement for any business manager seeking to implement an IEE business management system is to first create an integrated enterprise excellence plan, which will serve as a guidebook for all aspects of the model implementation process. This plan can be developed by considering all of the business activities within the company as well as any unique or critical issues which must be addressed. Then, from this plan, specific requirements for each process step can be generated, which are then implemented using a manual, automatic, or automated system depending on the existing procedures and models used in the organization.