Continuous Improvement: PDCA

by | Mar 14, 2022 | Compliance, Consulting Group, QMS, Quality, Quality Systems, Regulatory, Standardization, Standards

Continuous improvement is the ongoing improvement that can occur in all settings and many aspects of a company. It ensures the most efficient, effective, and productive processes are utilized. Not only does continuous improvement improve product quality, increase efficiency and productivity, and decrease cost but it also reduces waste, increases employee and customer satisfaction, and promotes teamwork.

The most commonly used model is PDCA which is Plan, Do, Check, Act. It is a simple and effective way of solving problems and managing change. PDCA allows companies to develop a hypothesis about what needs to change, then test the hypothesis in a continuous feedback loop.

During the plan phase the problem is identified, relevant data is collected, and understanding the root cause of the problem is necessary. Then the do phase is developing and implementing a solution. During this phase the way to measure the effectiveness is also decided. Next is the check phase. In this phase the results are compared through before and after data. Then is the act phase. Here the results are documented and if the process was unsuccessful the PDCA cycle begins again[1].

The PDCA model is versatile and easy to use in many business environments. It is a simple and easy-to-understand model that can increase efficiency. Some cons of the PDCA model are that it can be slow and isn’t the best solution for urgent projects. PDCA is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing, continuous process and requires commitment.

Plan-Do-Check-Act is one of the continuous improvement systems in place. If your company needs assistance with its continuous improvement, EMMA International can assist. Contact us by phone at 248-987-4497 or by email at

[1] Investopedia (June 2021) PDCA Cycle. Retrieved on March 13, 2022 from

Bano Ahmed

Bano Ahmed

Bano is a Quality Engineer at EMMA International. She has experience in quality control, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, and implementing corrective and preventative actions within the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Bano has earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Pennsylvania State University and a MPH in Population Health Sciences from the University of Michigan.

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