What is PDSA?

What is PDSA?

- in General Management, ITSM and ITIL
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The term PDCA abbreviating to Plan-Do-Check-Act is quite well known, and the presence of a similar acronym PDSA has raised a number of questions.

PDSA stands for Plan-Do-Study-Act. PDCA and PDSA are one and the same.

Dr.Deming who coined the PDCA cycle was under an impression that the C word conveyed a wrong meaning.

He felt that it implied inspection which is reactive, rather than analysis which is more pro-active in nature. So, he chose to replace the check with the study word, which carried a stronger meaning but didn’t reach the masses as the earlier one did.

PDCA stuck on, and has been in existence widely, although the connotation it carries is as he envisioned.

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Should you use PDCA or PDSA?

Most people are not aware of the latter, so I would strongly advise you not to use PDSA in forums where people are trying to judge you.

In a training environment, I think adding PDSA would be a wonderful addition and would make late Dr.Deming happier in the grave.

PS : PDCA cycle is also known as the Shewhart cycle, named after Walter Shewhart who’s three step process gave way to Deming’s cycle.

Image copyright : The Scottish Government

About the author

Abhinav Kaiser is an author and a management consultant. He has authored Become ITIL Foundation Certified in 7 Days and Workshop in a Box: Communication for IT Professionals. He works as a consulting manager for a top consulting firm. He advises businesses, organizations and enterprises in the areas of DevOps, IT service management and agile project management frameworks. Social Media : Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Google Plus

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