SDCA before you do PDCA

SDCA before you do PDCA

The most challenging task is to live the full cycle of PDCA. However what is more important than this or we can say an important aspect of PDCA is establishing Standardized work and ensure adherence to this. The SDCA cycle ensures that the improvements that has been done using KAIZEN™ works well and improvements do not slide back. SDCA prevents the deterioration and therefore it is extremely important that both the SDCA & PDCA cycles are well established. 

Improvement without standardization is stillborn to say the least.

“Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen.” – Taichii Ohno

What is Standard?

The best, safest and easiest way, to achieve and maintain a defined quality level.


Standards should be:

1.       Be simple, clear and conspicuous

2.       Be the best, easiest, safest way- - - - - - - > should only have one at a time

3.       Preserve know – how

4.       Be guide-lines that enable performance

5.       measurement of tasks delegated

6.       Assure quality, cost, delivery and safety

7.       Show relationship between cause and effect

With Standards;

1.       Management becomes possible

2.       There is a basis for training

3.       There is a basis for audit or diagnosis

4.       We prevent problems from recurring and control variability

Think: “The standard used today is the worst way I can do my job”

Four Levels of Standards

1.       Systems diagram of quality assurance

2.       QC process sheet

3.       Standard work sheet

4.       Maintenance, calibration, inspection, mistake proofing and other standards

Orders of a Standard


SDCA Cycle


KAIZEN™ Process


It is very hard to learn a new way. It is frustrating too. It can feel limiting. However, it ensures that people/ employees are working to the current one best way…until it is improved again.

I’ve got my thoughts. What are yours?

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