Continuous Improvement PDCA cycle

By Tony Lam

  • SumoMe

Lifelong education without implementation is useless. To implement the business ideas or process learned, I apply the iterative four-step continuous improvement method PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act).  It is simple and easy to follow. Like driving or breathing while swimming, it does not require much effort if keep practicing without stop.  In handling task like getting rid of dead stock or filing complaints, I always apply the PDCA method.  You may try it to see if it works for you.

Education & PDCA

PDCA definition

Plan :  Establish the expected outcome and define necessary steps

Do : Implement the plan

Check : Study the actual result against the expected result

Act  : Analyze the reason why the actual result is different from the expected result.  Tweet the plan and include more details in the next iteration of the PDCA cycle.

PDCA example

Handling of USPS complaint of missing page (details please read my article here)

Cycle 1 Plan Get the refund, Follow the steps learned in the first occurrence
Do File a case to CS at USPS.com
Check CS rejected the refund request
Act CS provided standard answer hope to close the case quickly
Cycle 2 Plan Escalate to higher level
Do Opened several cases to CS,  copied to the Postmaster General  (PG)
Check No reply from CS or PG
Act Message not reaching PG, still working on it or he doesn’t care ?
Cycle 3 Plan Seek judgment from public via Social Network & community
Do Posted at Twitter, FB USPS official page & eBay community forum,  Filed case again addressing next action plan. Resent email to PG
Check CS called & assured my refund and retraining of post office staff
Act Actual result met expectation. Mission accomplished
Category: Online Business


Shipping Large Items