A New Twist on PDCA

John Seddon, Vanguard Consulting, released a great book called ‘Freedom From Command and Control’. There are plenty of great ideas in there, and I enjoy sharing them with you! Seddon started applying the ‘Toyota Production System’ to the service industry back in the 90s. You’ll find his insights very helpful. Systems Thinking is what he calls his approach.

As for PDCA, I’ve been preaching about the ‘PLAN’ step for years. Many managers use this step to set targets. Big mistake. If we set a target before we know what our system is capable of, we’ll be wrong 100% of the time. Half the time we’ll set the target too high and demoralize our people. The other half of the the time we’ll set the target too low and demotivate our staff.

The answer? Change the Plan-Do-Check-Act mantra to Check-Plan-Do. This way, we’ll know our system’s capabilities (Check) before we make the plan.

Check: Are we following our purpose? Does our system serve our customers? Are we measuring the right things? Do we have the right resources? What’s the workflow look like ‘end-to-end’?

Plan: Do we have everything in place for our folks to perform well – any roadblocks? Can we remove some obstacles and provide a better customer experience for our users?

Do: Implement the improvements, but do an FMEA to anticipate the impacts of the changes before anything blows up.

By changing the approach, we can get more people on board, make improvements and avoid pitfalls.

Know Quality, Know Profits…No Quality, No Profits

If you’d like to see how we’ve enhanced the ability to ‘Check-Plan-Do’ with our cloud-based platform, schedule a demo and we’ll see if it can make your ‘ISO life’ simpler!

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