We have discussed on a series of Mondays the importance it is to write out and acknowledge your process and then we visited again on the importance of maintaining your processes, but how do you do just that?
Maintaining your processes must be a regular occurrence. There are many strategies utilized to do this. In fact there are certifications and degrees that strictly revolve around maintaining processes. But today we will just review a basic practice, the original PDCA model. This was created by W. Edwards Deming in the early to mid 1900’s.
- For an initial set up of a process this is your brainstorming session, what do you want to achieve? What are your expectations, and what process will guarantee the results you want?
- For review of a process already established this is when you brainstorm what troubles could lie ahead? What is the likelihood of these, and what do you most likely see as the results.
Much like the scientific method, now is the time that you test your process.
Keep a running track of your results and observe for any unplanned infrequencies in results.
Did your plan work? Did your plan do worse or better than expected? Whether positive or negative, any exceeded or missed expectations should be reviewed for the cause of their inconsistencies. In the above “Check” chart there was a slight supply issue with the pumpkin spice flavor, and a real variation of the sweetness in the coffee. With these observations we will review what did and did not work. Experiment with possible solutions and then return back to the beginning of the process of developing a new plan.
This is not a one cycle process, but instead a continuous process.