Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycles Part III – The “Check”

Posted on January 20, 2013 by



This installment, it’s all about the “C” – CHECK.

So the CHECK part of the PDCA cycle is where you look at how things are going. Remember, the PLAN outlines what you want to do, the DO focuses on the actual implementation, so CHECK is just that, a check on the status of what you are doing or have done at specific intervals. This is where the tie in comes from the previous installment in which I mentioned visual controls like department boards, GANTT charts, personal To Do lists, etc.

Remember, “go and see” is a big part of kaizen and visual management supports that. From a PDCA perspective, as you do the “DO” portion of PDCA, you will periodically update the status of the items on your visual boards so that you have a quick status at a glance as far as how things are going. The status is either white (hasn’t started/still open), Red (didn’t work/not done), Yellow (late, may not work) or Green (it worked/it’s done). This allows you and others to quickly see how things are going without having to waste time by tracking people down or waiting for someone to come and tell you what’s going on.

Yellows and Reds are obviously cause for concern as they mean you either are in danger of or have missed a milestone. These require quick adjustments to the plan… Up next….the final installment of PDCA – the ADJUST/ACT