MyNotes: Plan-Do-Study-Act Improvement Process

Source: (Print) Article on Plan-Do-Study-Act Improvement Process

Article: Plan-Do-Study-Act Improvement Process

  1. The Plan-Do-Study-Act approach provides a structure for improvement efforts.
  2. This structure can be used to guide thinking and actions for improving any situation and may be used by teams or individuals.
  3. Components include the following:
  1. Component 1: Plan
  1. Select a core school improvement team
  1. Identify key stakeholders
  2. Identify individuals who support is critical to success of improvement
  3. Include individuals with knowledge of the organization
  4. Include individuals with knowledge of the improvement process
  5. Develop a code of cooperation or group norms to guide behavior
  • Review and analyze all facets of the school’s operation
    1. External trend data
    2. Student achievement data for summative and formative assessments
    3. Student outcome data (e.g. attendance, discipline, dropout rate)
    4. Culture conditions and practices
    5. Evaluate the effectiveness of improvement strategies implemented in prior years
  • Identify strengths
  • Identify deficiencies and determine root causes
    1. Determine root causes
    2. Identify driving and restraining causes of the situation
  • Formulate recommendations
  • Prioritize recommendations and set priorities for improving
  • Prepare a list of possible solutions for root causes and define potential impact.
  • Determine professional development needs
  • Identify research-based strategies
  • Develop or revise school strategic plan with 10 components:
    1. School wide reform strategies
    2. Instruction by highly qualified teachers
    3. Parent involvement
    4. Additional support for students
    5. Monitoring and evaluation of the program
  • Component 2: DO
    1. Execute and monitor the implementation of the plan
    2. Provide professional development for admin and teachers to build capacity
    3. Ensure the implementation of the plan
    4. Facilitate ongoing support to the building/district staff members
    5. Observe staff effectiveness in implementing the initiatives and research based strategies
    6. Conduct classroom walkthroughs
    7. Review benchmark and progress monitoring data for improvements in student achievement
    8. Identify student/teacher intervention strategies based on formative assessment data
    9. Identify additional recommendations as the school implements the plan
  • Component 3: STUDY
    1. Analyze evidence of effectiveness-to what extent did we achieve our goals?
    2. Review all revised school policies and practices for an impact on student achievement
    3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the academic or behavioral intervention(s)
    4. Report findings and recommendations to stakeholders
    5. Determine recommendations for adjustments to strategic plan
    6. Devise additional approach to providing needed technical assistance
  • Component 4: ACT
    1. Develop and implement a plan for standardization and establish future plans.
    2. Apply lessons from a small scale implementation to full implementation
    3. Identify and document what was learned
    4. Acknowledge and celebrate success
    5. Revise the improvement plan based on what learned
    6. Require ongoing monitoring and review
  • “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

  • One Sentence Summary: “Proper planning prevents poor performance” summarizes the Edward Demings’ Plan-Do-Study-Act approach, a scientific way of affecting organizational improvement.


    • Take time to think, learn, and improve
    • Remove barriers to motivation and improvement by encouraging leadership at all levels, teamwork and cooperation.
    • Understand the system in which the group operates by seeking clarity of purpose establishing visions of excellence…viewing all work as a process.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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