pdca cycle

PDCA Cycle

One of the most implemented tools to ensure continuous improvement and assessment is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. It is a four-step quality model popularized by Dr. W. Edwards Deming but originally developed by Walter Shewhart in 1939. The cycle is also known as the Shewhart Cycle. The PDCA cycle has similarities to our MSL/Strategic leadership cycle. Both consider the high-level objective (why), consider the pieces connected to achieving the objectives (what) and break them down to practical, measurable action steps (how).

The four components of the PDCA cycle are:

  • Plan: Identify opportunities for change and plan for them. Establish objectives and ensure they are in alignment with strategic objectives.
  • Do: Implement the changes and processes. Break down the large components into smaller, doable phases if needed.
  • Check: Measure the outcomes to determine the efficacy of the plan, determine gaps, and analyze the data against expected results.
  • Act: Once the level of success has been determined, implement the change on a larger scale, involve others, and determine the next objective to be put through the process.

For this discussion question, you will role-play as a high level strategic leader. In particular, you are the CEO of a midsize, threestar hotel chain, and you are stunned to learn from your vice president of customer relations that the most recent results of a guest satisfaction survey at your San Antonio, Texas, property were quite poor. Guests have complained about their negative experiences at the front desk (check-in and checkout), citing exceptionally long waiting time, improperly prepared bills, erroneous charges, rude service, and even possible credit card identity theft.

How would you address this important issue utilizing the PDCA cycle and the characteristics of a strategic leader?

In the first paragraph(s) of your post, provide an overview of the process you will use to address the case study issue. Be sure to leverage strategic leadership concepts in your approach.

After the introductory paragraph(s), devote a succinct paragraph to each step of the PDCA cycle. Review the descriptions of the cycle above to guide your decisions about what should be included at each phase. Clarify connections between the steps as well. Be specific in your discussion and analysis. For example,

  • What are the likely issues?
  • How will you assess to determine those are the issues?
  • What are your expected interventions?
  • How will you assess whether interventions were successful?

Write your plan so that anyone could pick it up and implement it at the hotel.

Responses to your peers should focus on the strategic leadership elements.


Shewhart, W. A. (1939). Statistical method from the viewpoint of quality control. New York, NY: Dover.

Your initial posting should be the equivalent of 1 to 2 pages (500– 1000 words) in length.

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