Deming Cycle

What Does Deming Cycle Mean?

The Deming cycle refers to a four-part management method that preaches continuous improvement. This and other similar continuous improvement models have been integrated into business and enterprise software. The Deming cycle is made up of:

  • Plan: Choose a process and set objectives
  • Do: Implement the plan and begin collecting data on the results
  • Check/Study: Analyze the results using statistical methods
  • Act: Decide what changes to make in order to improve the process..

The Deming cycle is also referred to as plan do check act (PDCA), plan do study act (PDSA), the Shewhart cycle, the Deming circle and the Deming wheel.

Techopedia Explains Deming Cycle

William Edwards Deming learned about statistical modeling as a way to control and improve industrial processes from Walter A. Shewhart of Bell Labs. He took his knowledge to Japan in the late 1940s, where the techniques were widely adopted by industry and further developed by the Japanese. In the 1980s, the Deming/Shewhart techniques caught on in the U.S. due to the growing quality and production gap between American and Japanese automakers. The increasing power of software and hardware has made it possible for developers to distill the Deming cycle down into algorithms that can be used for business analytics and organizational planning.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.