If you need to optimize costs and the time you spend on the financial management of your company, the PDCA (Plan – Do – Check – Act) cycle can be your ally. This method is indicated by ISO 9001:2015, and its main purpose is to make the work of managers faster, simpler and more efficient, regardless of the size or sector of the business. For this, four steps are used, and they need to be followed in order to obtain the best results.
This article aims to present what the PDCA method is and how it works. We will present what its development stages are and the advantages of implementing this cycle in your management. Read on!
What is the PDCA cycle?
Every organization that wishes to remain competitive and have a lasting presence in the market in which it operates must continually make use of efforts and techniques that give it greater power of differentiation and efficiency in the use of its productive resources.
PDCA is a method used in companies of all sizes to improve and optimize management by continuously controlling activities and the production process. That way, it is possible to standardize information and reduce errors that directly influence the decision-making. To this end, the PDCA cycle consists of four steps:
- Plan: Stage of analysis and implementation of a plan. To do so, a problem should be identified and the processes involved evaluated. You also need to keep in mind the goals and deadlines of each task. The scope of operation needs to be well established, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each person involved.
- Do: Put the plans and strategies from the previous step into practice. It is important that the execution of the project is in accordance with what was planned, and it is mainly up to the managers to ensure the fulfillment of any action plan previously established.
- Check: Stage in which the progress and results already achieved should be verified. At this stage, it is important to adopt indicators that represent, in a more objective and easily understood way, the results obtained in each task.
- Act: Also known as the correction step. It is time to analyze the potential failures and maintenance needs in the project, identifying points for improvement, inefficiencies and procedural failures and adopting intervention measures in this sense.
How the PDCA cycle is implemented in companies?
The PDCA cycle can be implemented in companies of all sizes for the performance of simple or complex projects. In addition to providing continuous benefits for its management, is easy to adapt and implement. However, it is indicated that your employees receive training so that everyone is aligned with the PDCA cycle and its stages. Here it is important to highlight the importance of courses and training programs aimed at professional qualification.
Such resources are excellent tools that managers have at their disposal to disseminate best work practices among team members, increasing potential productivity and reducing the recurrence of errors and other inefficient habits. After that, the “culture” of using this method in all processes must be created, even if some employees show some resistance. To do so, just have a plan and put it into practice by strictly following the four steps mentioned.
You should also understand that PDCA is a cycle, that is, most projects will go through all the stages several times. In addition, do not forget to measure and constantly record the results. Betting on this method can help you understand a problem in your company and how it should be solved efficiently.
What are the advantages?
In an increasingly competitive market, the quest for excellence must be constant so that your company stands out in the midst of so many others. It is in this process that the PDCA cycle becomes so important, as, in addition to improving the results, it offers other advantages.
The main characteristic of the PDCA cycle is continuous improvement. Thus, the implemented projects will be followed up and not wither away. By having a check stage, you can correct faults on time, before they cause financial losses.
Greater efficiency and effectiveness
One of the main benefits of this method is the reliability and greater efficiency in the performance of projects and activities within a company, allowing for better planning in strategy development and fault detection.
One of the key aspects for the success of any enterprise is its ability to develop its production in order to make it more and more efficient, that is, to do more with less, increasing performance, reducing costs, optimizing productivity and expanding the gains. All of this can be carried out by applying and constantly monitoring the PDCA cycle.
Continuous process improvement
The PDCA cycle provides continuous improvement precisely because it works in a cyclical way. Each part of your project or activity will go through the same stage several times, ensuring that errors can be corrected and adapted to the needs and the actual situation of the corporation.
Another benefit of the continuous improvement provided by the PDCA cycle is the gradual increase of the market’s perception of the value of the products and services offered by the company. With improved processes, it is possible for the company to aim for and gain an increasing market share, earning the preference, engagement and loyalty of its audience.
Makes the decision-making by managers easier
Much of the time of company owners or managers is used to carry out and monitor the results of their planning, which involve activities, choices and decisions that are crucial to the success of their business.
In this sense, the PDCA cycle is a fundamental ally because it allows obtaining valuable information that will serve as a basis and analytical reference for making increasingly assertive and rationally sustained decisions, providing the business with an increasing improvement in its production processes, as well as in its results.
Improves project risk management
When applied in a well-structured manner, maintaining the identification, control and monitoring of all the characteristics of the project and of each step, the possible risks are amplified, allowing them to be managed in order to reduce negative impacts in the proposed plan.
Predicting potential risk situations helps in the adoption of protective and preventive measures, making everyone involved in the project aware of the care that needs to be taken at each stage. That way, it is possible to foster proactive behaviors in the team of collaborators, visualizing and avoiding unfavorable scenarios before they occur, and not merely reacting to situations that have already manifested.
The PDCA cycle adapts easily to any type of company, regardless of its size or field of operation. Industries, retailers and even service providers can benefit from applying each of the steps described throughout the article.
The principles present in the method provide an almost unlimited growth potential, as the actions of result analysis and verification of improvement points lead the organization to a culture of excellence. Despite the simple adaptability and applicability, managers are able to optimize the time spent in the performance of tasks and projects and yield better results.
Did you notice how some simple methods like the PDCA cycle can be very effective? Share with us your experience in project management. Do you already use this method in your management? Take the opportunity to share this content on your social media and help more people have access to it.