Start by answering these three questions:
- What is the issue?
- What data is relevant to collect to document the issue?
- What is causing the issue?
The second phase of the PDCA cycle consists of developing a solution for the problem identified during the first step. Ideally, you should develop a step-by-step plan to implement your solution and set some precise goals so you can determine whether your solution worked.
Did your solution work as expected? Typically, organizations compare data collected before and after implementing the solution to measure its efficiency. You should also use data to determine if the solution met (and ideally exceed) the goals set during the second phase.
- Act or Adjust
There are two courses of action you can take depending on the outcome of the third phase:
- If the solution didn’t work as expected, go back to the first step. You will have more data available to develop a plan of action this time.
- If the solution was a success, develop and implement a new set of best practices. Consider going back through the PDCA cycle again to optimize your solution and make sure you can get consistent results.