The PDCA process is a cycle process which should be in continuous motion and remain fluid throughout the life of any project with the objective of always improving. The four-step process, known as PDCA, is an acronym for Plan, Do, Check, and Act, or sometimes Plan, Do, Check, Adjust.

Its purpose is to assist your team to solve problems more effectively and in a structured way, and is formulated to spur continuous improvement.

The PDCA cycle

PDCA cycle

Let’s have a look at the four steps which are an important part of the quality assurance plan structure:

1. PLAN

The planning stage outlines what needs to be done, for example, identifying the core problem which needs to be solved, what are the resources required, what shortage of resource is there, what is the best solution with the available resources, the project goals and objectives.

2. DO

This stage is where the planned steps get implemented. It is best to implement actions in small steps as there are always unexpected problems during the implementation stage.

3. CHECK

One of the most important stages is the check stage. You need to audit and measure every aspect of the implemented actions to ensure everything is in accordance with the plan. However, this is also the stage where any problems identified with the corrective actions can be resolved.

4. ACT

If everything has gone to plan and the initial problem has been eliminated, this is the stage where the plan can be fulfilled, and the newly implemented actions can become the new SOP or process or methodology.

How PDCA forms the basis for an effective quality assurance plan

PDCA is also the basis for a successful Quality Assurance Plan (QAP). The QA Plan should include:

  • Objectives
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Communications
  • Coordination
  • Tasks and schedules

It will also link to other project plans.

As with most effective processes, the QAP should also be capable of continuously improving product quality.

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