Look up W. Edwards Deming on the Internet and you will learn that he revolutionized manufacturing practices If you’re a small business owner there’s a concept Deming popularized that you can apply. It’s called PDCA, for plan / do / check /act. It’s a way to improve the processes a company implements by making sure those processes produce ever-better outcomes. Let’s say you want to increase profitability by doing three things: Schedule better, train current field employees, and make sure all materials are on the job when needed. So you write a six-week plan calling for you to buy and learn a scheduling program, set up an on-site training to train workers, and start ordering materials four days ahead of needing them. Suppose you did all those things. Congratulations: You accomplished the “Plan” and “Do” parts of PDCA.
The key to success in PDCA lies in the last two components: check and act. This cycle is repeated continuously as the company matures and different problems arise. That’s why Deming’s PDCA cycle also is called “continuous improvement.”