Lean Definition

PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act)

PDCA Cycle is an adaptation of the Dening wheel. While the Deming wheel stresses the need for constant interaction among research, design, production, and sales, the PDCA cycle asserts that every managerial action can be improved by careful application of the sequence: plan, do, check, act.

It is an iterative four –step problem-solving process typically used in business process improvement. It is also known as the Deming Circle, Shewhart cycle, Deming cycle, Deming wheel control circle or cycle, or plan-do-study-act (PDSA)


Establish the objectives and process necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output. By making the expected output the focus, it differs from other techniques in that the completeness and accuracy of the specification are also part of the improvement.


Implement the new process. Often on a small scale if possible.


Measure the new process and compare the results against the expected results to ascertain any differences.


Analyse the differences to determine their cause. Each will be part of either one or more of the P-D-C-A steps. Determine where to apply changes that will include improvements. When a pass through these four steps does not result in the need to improve, refine the scope to which PDCA is applied until there is a plan that involves improvement.


The complete elimination of Muda so that all activities along a value stream create value.

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