In order for teamwork to run smoothly, it is important to manage employees properly. What is the Deming cycle and how can it affect team management?
The Deming cycle – also known as PDCA, Deming wheel or Deming loop – is a management concept created by an American statistician also known as “quality guru”. The PDCA cycle is an acronym from the first letters of English words: plan, do, check, action, which mean: plan, do, check, improve. The Deming cycle assumes cyclic execution of all four stages and their repetition. The PDCA cycle exists in two versions: popular and original.
The popular version of the Deming cycle was popularized mainly in the circles in which the philosophy of quality based on continuous improvement and the ISO standard concerning quality management are professed. In this version, the cycle is based on four consecutive activities:
After the end of his life, Deming expanded the interpretation of point three, or “check,” because a great many people were leaving out checking, which should also includeDesign of Experiments (DOE for short).
The Design of Experiments method consists of creating a mathematical formula based on data from an experiment with which optimization of products and processes can be calculated, without the need for continuous experiments. Thus, the PDCA version was changed to PDSA, which is also based on the following four steps:
1. “No one can do it better than me – the boss”
Lack of teamwork and the mistaken assumption that no employee will do it better than “me-boss” – many people do not know how to delegate tasks to subordinates.
2. “After all, this is something I talked about a long time ago”
Very often it turns out that everyone knows how to do something, but no one does it. Managers discuss plans, congratulate the team on their ideas, and that’s where it ends. There is no transition to putting the plan into action.
3. “It doesn’t matter how, it matters that it works”
There is no room for stopgaps in the Deming cycle. There should be experimentation so that the action produces the best possible results.
4. “No verification of actions”
Increasingly, there is no willingness to verify that the plan put in place is working as expected. Data should be collected before and after the plan is put into action, this is the only way to know if everything is happening as intended.
5. “Solutions inadequate to the problem”
The solution should always be appropriate to the problem. It is not uncommon to find that the solution is not the answer to the problem.
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