I don't know how this came about, but a little while ago a friend of mine (whom I highly regard, both personally as well as as a project manager) came up with the notion that PDCA implies planning, having the plan executed (do), checking the results and (re)acting if they are not up to standard.
Maybe I am mistaken and that is, what Deming really means, but the way I understand his text and for example this talk by deming himself it is quite the opposite.
The way I understand it, it is an almost direct implementation of the scientific method:
- Plan: Formulate a hypothesis and design an experiment for its verification (on a controllable scale, including the definition of an expected outcome)
- Do: Execute the experiment (in a more or less controlled environment)
- Check: Verify the results from the experiment with the expected outcome
- Act: Either implement the changes from the hypothesis or don't! – Depending on the outcome of the experiment.
Am I wrong in my interpretation?