> Continuous Quality Improvement and the Deming Cycle
The Deming PDCA Cycle of Continuous Quality Improvement
The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act or Plan-Do-Check-Adjust) Cycle, also known as the Deming Cycle, was made popular and promoted by W. Edwards Deming, who is considered to be the father of modern quality management. Later in his career, Deming modified PDCA to "Plan-Do-Study-Act" (PDSA) because he felt that "check" emphasized inspection over analysis. The PDCA or Deming Cycle is an iterative four-step management method for the continuous improvement of processes, products, and services, i.e., for continuous quality improvement. The basic principle of PDCA is iteration – executing the cycle again will lead to improvement. In other words, repeating the PDCA cycle will bring an organization closer to achieving its goals and objectives. The PDCA method emphasizes that continuous quality improvement must start with careful planning, must result in effective action, and must move on again to careful planning in a continuous cycle.
Steps in the Deming Cycle
The steps in each successive iteration of the PDCA Cycle are:
The IACBE's Assessment Process and the Deming Cycle
The IACBE's accreditation criteria – our "Accreditation Principles" – require an academic business unit to develop and implement a comprehensive quality assessment and advancement system involving an ongoing cyclical process based on the Deming Cycle. This process includes planning, execution, evaluation, and feedback phases for continuous improvement. This continual assessment cycle requires the academic business unit to "close the loop" in outcomes assessment, to use the results to identify changes and improvements that are needed in its business programs, processes, and activities, and to develop action plans for making those changes and improvements.
The steps in the IACBE's Deming-based assessment cycle are as follows:
The academic business unit then evaluates the results of executed strategies and action plans to determine whether they achieved the desired outcomes, i.e., the assessment process is repeated, and the plan is updated as necessary. This phase of the assessment process represents “closing the loop” in outcomes assessment.
For more information on continuous quality improvement, see Outcomes Assessment and Continuous Improvement.