What is the PDCA cycle? Apply to develop your marketing plan

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The PDCA cycle is a self-governing approach adopted by many companies.

This article Chiasenow will review the PDCA Cycle construction method type, and explain the values ​​and problems, the factors that cause the PDCA Cycle to fail, and the points for implementing the PDCA Cycle effectively. fruit.

Lets sharenow examine the nature of the PDCA Cycle by giving examples of the use of the PDCA Cycle in practice.

What is the PDCA cycle?

The PDCA Cycle acronyms are:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Check
  • Action

Here is a technique for driving continuous business improvement by iterating the PDCA Cycle:

Plan → Do → Check → Action

There is also the term PDCA process, which means when the last step of the PDCA Cycle, the Action is completed, it goes back to the first step Plan continues the Cycle in a loop

However, both the terms PDCA Process and PDCA Cycle are often understood with similar meanings.

The PDCA cycle, which is already ingrained in companies. was proposed in the 1950s by American statisticians, Dr. William Edwards Deming and Dr. Walter Schuhart, who led research on quality control.

Image of a circle rolling on an inclined plane of the PDCA cycle
Image of a circle rolling on an inclined plane of the PDCA cycle

With the image of a circle rolling on an inclined plane (clockwise), the PDCA cycle shows that the essence of the quality management process is continuous and never-ending improvement.

The PDCA cycle shows that the essence of the quality management process is continuous and never-ending improvement
The PDCA cycle shows that the essence of the quality management process is continuous and never-ending improvement

Actually the implementation of the PCDA cycle is much more complicated than the name implies. However, the PDCA cycle is the foundation for the improvement cycles in ISO 9001. When an organization implements the PDCA cycle, it will also master the quality management system according to ISO 9001.

Quote from wikipedia

Today, the PDCA Cycle has become an international standard for quality control such as:

  • ISO 9001 standard
  • ISO 14001 standard

The PDCA cycle also applies and it is used as the basis of the self-management approach regardless of industry or sector.

The PDCA cycle is often applied in training new employees. It is one of the methods familiar to business people.

Details of each step in the PDCA Cycle: Plan – Do – Check – Action

Chiasenow will explain each step in the PDCA Cycle in detail:

  1. Plan
  2. Do
  3. Check
  4. Action

1. The First Step in the PDCA Cycle: Plan

What is the Plan in the PDCA Cycle?

  • Goal Setting
  • Create an action plan to achieve your goal

Chiasenow will consider 5W2H elements when planning the first step in this PDCA Cycle.

As follows:

  • Who
  • When
  • Where
  • What
  • Why
  • How
  • How much

Setting goals and an action plan is the starting point for starting a PDCA Cycle.

It is important to set specific goals and action plans that are easily visible to everyone, such as by actively using indicators that can capture important changes.

See more:

2. Step 2 in the PDCA Cycle: Do

The Do step in the PDCA Cycle means to act on the goals and action plans developed in the Plan step of the PDCA Cycle as outlined above.

However, the meaning of implementation here is not limited to conducting business regularly as planned. It also includes the meaning of testing.

Due in the PDCA Cycle:

  • Are the results of putting the plan into practice effective?
  • Can you think of another way?

This is also the stage to verify those


  • Dont do it all at once
  • Record progress and results against goals
  • Action so that numerical results can be obtained by measuring time, etc.
  • If things dont go according to plan, record that fact

3. The 3rd Step in the PDCA Cycle: Check

The Check in the PDCA Cycle is:

  • Have you achieved the goals and action plans you set out?
  • Will it be done as planned?

Evaluation phase. If it doesnt go according to plan, we will analyze why?

Even if everything goes according to plan, we will analyze the success factors and put the numerical targets set in the Plan on the verification board in both cases.

It is necessary to give specific verification results based on the numerically recorded values ​​in the PDCA Cycle.

4. Step 4 in the PDCA Cycle: Action

Action (improvement) in the PDCA Cycle, we will look at the points of improvement to the analysis/verification issues clarified in the pre-Test (assessment) stage in the PDCA Cycle

When thinking about improvements in the PDCA Cycle.

  • Will continue as planned?
  • Improve some views as we continue to plan
  • Cancel or postpone the plan

We will have many choices, such as considering and deciding new issues in the future.

Understand the outline of the four phases Plane - Do - Chek - Action and build the PDCA Cycle steadily.

Benefits of building a PDCA . Cycle

There are three advantages to implementing a PDCA Cycle.

1. The PDCA cycle helps to define goals and to-dos with clarity

The first benefit is clarity on the goals and issues to be worked on in the PDCA Cycle

Two important points can be seen that

  • Clarify organizational and individual goals
  • Take action to improve towards a defined goal

Goal setting is essential for individuals and large organizations like businesses.

Without a goal

  • Will cause deviation from the original target landing point
  • It would be difficult to think of specific measures

The companys activities can expand the business by accomplishing the set goals.

The introduction of the PDCA Cycle made it possible to set clear goals using numerical indicators such as:

  • Can plan to achieve goals and solve problems
  • By making it clear what an individual or organization should do, it is possible to set clear goals.

Therefore, the PDCA Cycle is said to bring great benefits to individuals and businesses in business activities.

2. The PDCA cycle makes it easier to focus on actions

A second benefit of the PDCA Cycle is that it makes it easier to focus on actions. Because goals and action plans are already established at the Plan stage in the PDCA Cycle.

  • What we do?
  • What is required for each organization or company?

Having a clear understanding of your goals and action plans has a big impact on your focus on actions and tasks.

If you can focus more on the goals and plans that you have established in your Plan.You can expect to improve your productivity.

Therefore, the PDCA Cycle plays a big part in building a management model for businesses and companies.

3. The PDCA cycle makes understanding New problems and difficulties easy to understand

In the first phase, the PDCA Cycle sets goals using a full range of quantifiable indicators. By focusing and taking action to achieve that goal and realize the action plan,

Having a PDCA Cycle makes it easier to think about the following

  • Success and failure of the goal
  • Accomplished and uncompleted results of the action plan

From this, the following conclusions are drawn:

  • How to improve
  • What to change to improve

By implementing the PDCA Cycle, not only clear goals but also issues such as focus on each plan objective are improved. Reduce the gap between goals and results.

Factors that cause the PDCA Cycle to fail

1. Failure factors in the Plan step of the PDCA Cycle

The cause of the failure of the Plan was

  • Unable to plot the process to achieve the set goal
  • Unable to analyze or grasp the current situation

The basis of the concept in the PDCA Cycle is hypothesis and verification. The PDCA cycle is a cyclic construct that forms a hypothesis, executes it based on the hypothesis, and verifies the results to form a new hypothesis.

However, if the first hypothesis is poor, then the performance and verification based on the hypothesis will be poor and not yield satisfactory results.

Even with a good hypothesis, there should be a concrete picture so that the action plan can achieve goals and solve problems quickly. It is a major turning point to success or failure in the PDCA Cycle.

2. Failure factor in the Do step of the PDCA Cycle

The cause of failure in the Do step of the PDCA Cycle is the implementation of a plan that does not follow the established goals and frameworks.

  • You should try your best
  • You have no choice but to do it anyway
  • Lets start with what we can do

The implementation of such a plan will not produce results. Also, if your goal is long-term, you will miss out on seeing short-term results if you dont see progress on time.

Breaking down long-term goals into short-term goals and detailed planning to achieve them are essential elements of the PDCA Cycle.

3. Failure factor in Check step of PDCA Cycle

The PDCA Cycles Check failure factor is the ambiguity of the test criteria.

  • Overall, there is a point to overcome
  • Do you think its okay to continue like this?
  • Did you try your best?

The PDCA cycle cannot be used effectively with abstract and ambiguous test criteria.

Testing in the PDCA Cycle requires evaluating the results from a quantitative point of view and performing specific verification work against the metrics.

Also, if you just want to test internally,

  • Are the evaluation criteria biased?
  • Is there a part that will be omitted?

In that case, examine closely from an outside perspective. The PDCA cycle guides organizations and individuals to trusted business improvement.

4. Failure Factor in the Action step of the PDCA Cycle

The failure factor in the Action step of the PDCA Cycle is whether there is some action to be taken for improvement.

  • Quantitative Indicators
  • Strict outside view

Even if you test from the above and figure out what needs improvement, the PDCA Cycle will be interrupted if improvement actions are not taken on a regular basis.

  • Try everything you can to improve
  • If its not clear that theyll take action to improve, theyll jump in and start looking at the problems themselves.
  • Repeat the steps of the PDCA Cycle, verifying and resetting towards the goal without giving up halfway

If you are not prepared to run the PDCA Cycle with such high aspirations, you could end up in the worst case scenario of failure with the PDCA Cycle in progress.

It is important to understand the causes of failure in the PDCA Cycle so that new modifications and improvements can be made to a smooth PDCA Cycle.

How to effectively implement the PDCA Cycle

There are four points to effectively implementing the PDCA Cycle.

1. Specific and detailed planning with numerical value objective for PDCA Cycle

The first is to present the goals in numerical form and to make a specific and detailed plan. The number one reason why the PDCA Cycle doesnt work is Plan in the first place.

The reason is,

  • The target is not displayed in terms of numbers
  • Not deep in an abstract plan

Instead of setting a goal of improving sales performance, its better to set metrics like get 10 new customers, reach 300 existing customers, and increase sales by 20% y/y. years ago will make it easier for you to do the following than take action:

This is because setting goals with specific numbers leads to specific actions and as a result leads to effective business promotion.

  • Start with a status analysis when setting goals
  • Use quantifiable and quantifiable indicators for goals
  • Set a deadline for the goal to measure the achievement of the goal

If you can do such things, you can effectively make the PDCA Cycle work. Please give due consideration to setting goals, such as by using SMART goals.

See more:

2. Follow the plan outlined in the PDCA Cycle

Second, follow the plan. Once youve set your goals and action plan, make sure to stick to the plan. If you do not follow the plan, it will not be possible to verify that the plan is good or bad.

  • Also, log activity for easy assessment and analysis
  • If things dont go as planned, jot down the situation and problems so you can understand them.
  • Objectively analyze the quality of the result and look back at why it was the way it was.

Building a Dos content that includes these actions is key to making the PDCA Cycle work.

3. Proper Planning for the PDCA Cycle

Third is proper planning. This can be done for all steps in the PDCA Cycle.

  • If you make a vague plan, you wont know what to do.
  • Even if you find the root cause, it will be useless if you cant improve the plan to make it more viable.

It is important to have a reasonable plan. Think about the steps in the PDCA Cycle as much as you can without stressing.

It is important to consider the balance with your own workload to rotate the steps in the PDCA Cycle.

4. Regularly evaluate and validate the effectiveness of the PDCA Cycle

Finally, evaluate and validate regularly. All in all, the PDCA Cycle is often applied professionally, so chances are youll get overwhelmed by your day-to-day work and think about your long-term goals later on.

If the job is doing full, the PDCA Cycle will slow down. However, to make effective use of the PDCA Cycle, maintaining the PDCA Cycle such as validation and regular analysis is indispensable.

You can keep the cycle of the PDCA Cycle productive by checking the Plans progress, analyzing the current situation, and recommending follow-up improvements on a regular basis, such as setting time to evaluate and validate the cycle of the PDCA Cycle every Friday.

The key to implementing the PDCA Cycle effectively is to take the steps in the PDCA regularly and as planned within a reasonable range.

Specific examples of effective application of the PDCA Cycle

Let Chiasenow explain the case of two companies that have adopted the PDCA Cycle, and the improved effect of the PDCA Cycle in practice

1. Toyota successfully applied the PDCA Cycle

Toyota Motors business activities

  • Make an implementation plan based on the current situation
  • Made with high precision
  • Verify results
  • Improvement

This is exactly what the PDCA Cycle is used for, and Toyota will continue to use the PDCA Cycle consistent with this basic principle.

First, Toyota Production System was adopted as Plan. They built a car production system in the shortest time to improve production efficiency.

Next, in DO

  • Introduce a just in time system that produces only the required quantity without stalling
  • Apply autonomy to automatically stop the machine so that defective products are not produced continuously when abnormality occurs

They thoroughly do such things in every nook and cranny

And in CHECK, the PDCA Cycle stops when the product fails or signs of problems are seen. The field staff and the administrator authorized to request assistance work together to verify the problem.

Finally, is ACTION

  • Implement proposal for improvement in cooperation with engineers, managers and line workers
  • Promote a corporate culture that instantly incorporates what can be done
  • Call center, 24/7 customer support
  • Detailed repair service in case of breakdown

They also focus on supports. In this way, Toyota has succeeded in promoting strong organizational and personnel reforms and established a strong position as a global company.

The Toyota Just-In-Time Production System has become Toyotas iconic approach born out of the PDCA Cycle.

2. Softbank applies the PDCA Cycle for effective sales growth

SOFTBANK has adopted the concept of High Speed ​​PDCA Cycle and has been a company with sales of 8 trillion for more than 30 years. SoftBanks PDCA cycle has evolved with a unique perspective.

What is the unique perspective in the PDCA Cycle?

  1. Dont end up in a bad atmosphere doing the PDCA Cycle
  2. PDCA cycle with high speed and accuracy

The highly efficient, detailed, and fast PDCA cycle has helped the company to thrive.

How is the PDCA cycle in Softbank?

First of all, regarding goal setting

  • Set big goals, break them down and set small goals
  • Create a system to check small goals daily, weekly or monthly

They have established an implementation plan policy, to improve the effectiveness of the research. They try to implement an action plan that perfectly reflects the purpose of the research, such as trying multiple products at once.

Verification in the PDCA . Cycle

  • Daily verification is weak
  • Personal goals are also verified daily
  • Identify what works and what doesnt, and use it for quick improvement from the next day.

The speed is set completely. In improvement action, we have taken the most effective method and further refined it, while driving ambitious developments to further improve the best policy.

This is arguably a success case, where the PDCA Cycle is refined day by day, adding connection speeds for specific verification and improvements, and streamlining improvements to the elements of the PDCA Cycle, and The company has grown significantly.

The case of Softbank, where making the steps of the PDCA Cycle so sophisticated and rapidly leading to great results, is indeed a successful case of applying the PDCA Cycle.

The OODA Loop and the Alternative Concept for the PDCA Cycle

The OODA Loop is gaining attention as an alternative concept to the PDCA Cycle.

So, what is an OODA loop? Consider the difference from the PDCA Cycle

1. What is the OODA loop?

OODA is an acronym for:

  1. Observe
  2. East
  3. Decide
  4. Act

It is an acronym for OODA and was proposed by Colonel John Boyd of the United States Air Force.

A key feature of OODA is

  • Instead of doing it once, use the adjustment function while repeating and repeat quickly
  • Overwhelm your opponent and gain your advantage while repeating quickly


It is just watching the other. Instead of sticking to the plan youve made, you can watch the other person progress. By observing yourself as a decision maker, you can gather living data about external situations.


Focus on understanding and understanding the current state of whats really happening now, and think deeply about the implications of the data collected. We then understand the nature of the data and make judgments based on it.

We will convert living data collected at the Observation step into valuable information to document the value assessment.


Make decisions based on information on which to base value judgments. Decide on a concrete action plan for the current situation and situation with a clear understanding of the facts.


Finally implementation. Put the plan you decided on in the previous step into action. Then go back to the Observe phase and repeat the OODA loop.

2. Difference between PDCA Cycle and OODA loop

The starting point for the PDCA Cycle is the goals and action plan that was initially developed. They are very specific because they use indicators and use quantifiable criteria.

On the other hand, in the OODA loop, the ability to observe and judge the situation is of paramount importance. The proponent of the OODA loop is a Colonel of the United States Air Force.

It is, so to speak, a method of emphasizing mobility born of such a tense battlefield, which can lead to death if you do not immediately judge your situation.

  • PDCA Cycles: A methodology that emphasizes Cycles and leads companies to success from the point of view of immediate issues and medium and long term perspectives based on metrics and digital support.
  • OODA Loop: Emphasis on spot fit and being able to respond to market trends and customer needs requires quick surroundings, quick judgment and execution.

While considering the value of both the PDCA Cycle and the OODA loop, it is important to use the method that works best for your company and continues to achieve your goals.

Question and Answer PDCA Cycle

Q1: What does PDCA cycle mean?

The PDCA cycle is an acronym for Plan, Do, Check and Action. By iterating the cycle of planning to improvement, and then from planning to improvement, we will continuously improve our business. It is also known as the PDCA cycle.

Question 2: What is the point of the PDCA Cycle without failure?

The following four points are necessary to make the PDCA Cycle effective.

  1. Quantify the goal and set it specifically.
  2. Reasonable planning.
  3. Follow the plan.
  4. Regular assessment and analysis.

It is important to work with the PDCA Cycle regularly and as planned to a reasonable extent.

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