What is the Deming Change Cycle, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Deming Change Cycle
The Deming Change Cycle is a method that is used to improve the quality of the organization’s products. Specifically, the cycle provides a systematic plan for improving the quality of the products that meets the needs of the industry as well as minimizes any errors or product defects. However, the changes that are made should not be minimal. Rather the organization should be considering broader changes to processes that would improve the quality of the products the organization produces.
Description of Deming Change Cycle
The Deming Change Cycle progresses through four cyclical stages that must be followed in order. They are: plan, do, study, and act.
- Plan: The first step in the process is to determine the ultimate goal that should be achieved by the end of the change process. This can be any product or procedure that needs to be modified. Additionally, during this stage the organization needs to consider how realistic that goal is, what potential roadblocks could hinder the change process, as well as how accurate the organization is in recognizing these issues. Once this diagnosis is complete and the organization is confident in the accuracy of what needs to be addressed, the final part of the planning stage is to create a roadmap with concrete steps for implementing the change process and achieving the set goal.
- Do: The plan should be executed over a long span of time and should be done in small steps. Additionally, each step toward achieving the product goal requires time because there is much trial and error involved. This process should function somewhat like a scientific investigation and a detailed log should be kept recording what processes were more successful than others. In this way, the organization will have information not only on what methods will lead to product improvement, but also the reasons these methods were successful.
- Study: This stage begins at the end of each trial in the change process. During the study phase, the organization carefully scrutinizes whether the goal was achieved, which involves a detailed examination of whether the processes or products were improved, and if the reason for the better quality aligns with what the organization intended to do. Said differently, the study phase involves determining how well the organization was able to accurately predict the outcome of the change process. If there is a distinction between what was expected and what was observed, the organization should create a list of possible explanations for these distinctions.
- Act: After selecting the change that will produce the biggest quality improvement, the final stage is to implement it. A detailed record should also be kept at this stage to obtain more information about what aspects of the business the change improved. At the end of the change process, the knowledge obtained and documented in these logs should be used to identify other changes to be met, thus starting the cycle anew.
Tools & Templates
The Balanced Scorecard can be used to support the Deming Change Cycle. More specifically, the balanced scorecard can be used to help identify the processes and products that need to be changed.
upBOARD's Online Deming Change Cycle Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Change Cycle techniques, upBOARD’s online Deming Change Cycle tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other change management best practice tools and templates, including:
ADKAR Change Management Model, AIM Accelerated Implementation Methodology, Beckhard & Harris Change Process, Boston Consulting Group Change Delta, Bridges’ Leading Transition Model, Burning Platform, Change Management Impact Analysis, Change Management Maturity Model, Change Management Plan, Change Management Roadmap, Change Readiness Assessment, Change Resistance Management Plan, Change Risk Assessment, Communications Planning, Deming Change Cycle, Focus Groups, GE Change Acceleration Process, Go-Live Planning, Head, Heart and Hands Model, Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, Kubler Ross Change Curve, Lewin’s Change Management Model, Nudge Change Model, People Centered Implementation, Performance Support, Process Mapping, Prosci Change Management Levers, Sponsor Roadmap, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Interviews, Switch Change Framework, User Acceptance Testing, VRIO Framework and What’s In It For Me (WIIFMs).