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PDCA Cycle: The Do Step

 

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Once solutions for your process problem are identified during the Plan step, now you can start implementing those solutions. This will be the second step of the PDCA cycle. The Do step aims to implement changes required for solving the problem at the experimental level. This way of implementation lets minimize disruption to routine activity while testing changes to determine whether they will work or not.

The Do step consists of the following three activities:

  • Obtain authority for implementation
  • Provide necessary training
  • Implement the changes

You can use VIP Task Manager to break down all these activities into a range of simple tasks. If necessary, you can combine tasks into multi-level hierarchies, checklists and templates. Below in this article we present a checklist that includes key tasks for performing the activities of the Do step. Please read the entire article to find out more about the activities and read the checklist that can be created and edited in VIP Task Manager.

Obtain Authorization for Implementation
The first activity means that you need to get permission from your organization’s top management for starting the implementation process. Management support is required because it provides you with necessary authorities to start using the company’s resources and funds.

A process authorization request can be used as a formal document that states about your effort for resolving process problems. Here’re the key points you must highlight in your request:

  • Reasons (why make changes)
  • Authority (who authorizes changes)
  • Benefits (what tangible or/and intangible benefits are supposed to be produced)

Prior to sending your request to the senior management, you must be sure you can answer these questions because the right understanding of the entire improvement procedure is required for reaching success. You should formulate your answers in a clear and unambiguous manner. When all this is done, you can request for senior management backing.

The management team of your company will receive the request and review it. If the team approves the request, then you can proceed with performing the next activity of the Do step. If the request is rejected, then perhaps this document is not persuasive. You can try to re-formulate your vision regarding necessary changes, edit the document and re-submit it again.

Provide Necessary Training
Once you’ve got senior management support, your next activity is to make sure that your people have definite knowledge and skills required for making changes to problem processes. This activity requires you to perform a range of tasks.

Here’s a list of key tasks to provide your personnel with necessary training:

  • Set training goals and expectations
  • Determine scope of the training activity
  • Select types of employee training (for example, in-house training, mentoring, external training, employee reorientation)
  • Select preferable training methods (for example, in-house lectures, coaching, teleworking, presentations, demonstrations)
  • Prepare facilities necessary for training

You must complete all these tasks to ensure that your people are ready to make changes to problem processes and implement solutions. Employees are supposed to develop their skills and enrich their knowledge to be able to participate in your improvement project.

Implement the Changes
Your employees are trained and know how to do your project. The senior management of your organization provides support and guidance. Now you are ready to start implementing necessary changes to your problem processes and realize solutions.

Here’re the necessary steps you should take to implement desired changes:

  • Demonstrate how the changes are supposed to be implemented
  • Support change management procedures
  • Break down your project into multiple tasks and activities
  • Assign the project and its content (tasks and activities) to your team
  • Track change implementation
  • Monitor actions completed
  • Identify real improvements and changes made to your process
  • Ensure that your processes are not affected adversely

When your team works towards accomplishing these tasks, you must be sure that desired changes are done as defined in the Plan step and that solutions are implemented as desired. When all the tasks are completed, you can measure change performance to check if your problem processes are improved in the way that ensures success. You can do process checking in the next step of the PDCA cycle. We will describe the Check step in our next article.

Task Checklist in VIP Task Manager
As we’ve already mentioned, VIP Task Manager allows you to create tasks and combine them into checklists and templates. We recommend you to use Task Tree view of the software to make a checklist of tasks for accomplishing the activities of the Do step. For example, you can try to use this task checklist:

  • Do
  • Authorization
    • List reasons and benefits of performing process changes
    • Make a detailed plan for your change project
    • Determine authority level required for approving your project
    • Design an authorization request form
    • Submit the form to the senior management
    • Receive approval/rejection
  • Training
    • Break down employee jobs into certain steps for training purposes
    • Determine certain skills and techniques to be learned by employees
    • Make sure if there is a need for teaching employees about safety practices
    • Set performance standards to be met by employees
    • Identify if there is a need for improvement or modification of employee attitude
    • Select training types
    • Schedule training activities
    • Hire/select instructors
    • Provide instructors with all necessary tools (blackboard, lectern, film projector, microphone, etc.)
    • Make sure all classrooms have seating and writing surfaces for employees and trainers
  • Implementation
    • Develop change implementation plans
    • Define change measurements and evaluation criteria
    • Make project documentation that supports the change process
    • Use a tree diagram to divide the project into tasks and activities
    • Assign tasks and activities to your team members
    • Use Gantt Chart to track change implementation
    • Have a check sheet to check off tasks and activities that are completed
    • Use measures (identified in the Plan step) to assess real improvements made to your processes
    • Measure related processes to ensure positive effect.

 

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