There are two ways to improve:
1. The classic way:
- Do – make an improvement
- Do – change a process
- Do – implement some training
- Do – install a system
When you have been through the 4 do’s keep right on doing.
2. The recommended way:
- Plan – develop an idea or innovation, work out how you will implement it.
- Do – carry out the plan on a small-scale, test it to see if it works.
- Check – study what happened, did the plan work? If not why not? What can you change?
- Act – adopt the change and roll it out, abandon it or learn from it and adapt it.
When you have finished the cycle, circle back to Plan.
The two methods drive different results.
Do, do, do, do causes rapid jerky movements in performance.
Plan, do, check, act drives a slow steady ratcheting up of performance.
Check and act lock in the good and abandon the bad… Do, well do just keeps on doing.
Pro’s and Con’s
The do, do, do, do method has the advantage that you feel that you are making progress and it is clear to the world that you are doing something. Lots of things even.
The plan, do, check, act method has the advantage that you know you are making progress.
The choice of method is — of course — yours.
A couple of nuances:
Plan do check act…
- Separates the changes you make so it easier to see what worked.
- Builds critical thinking skills in your workforce, rather than reactive acting skills.
- Is iterative, so you continually improve, always building on what you have done so far.
When you think you have tried everything you haven’t ~ Thomas Edison
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Image by Dennis Wilkinson
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