Plan Do Act Check First, let me apologize to all the lean enthusiasts, maybe dead is the wrong word. Certainly Shakespeare isn’t dead to the literary world just as Deming isn’t dead to the continuous improvement world. However, there have been many modern takes on Shakespeare’s work so possibly Deming’s Plan Do Check Act could use a revisit given it’s been over 60 years since Deming started the equivalent of Beatlemania in the lean community. I’ll also apologize to the lean community because I did put a supply chain planning slant on this but it’s still something to think about whether you’re managing your supply chain or driving an improvement project (or both!). Let’s have a closer look. Plan: Well I can’t dispute the planning part. “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Who said that again? Anyway, you certainly set objectives, expectations and targeted improvements in the plan phase. The one modern day caution would be the length of the planning cycle. With all the change in today’s supply chain, a plan is almost out of date the moment it’s complete. So if for example, your S&OP cycle takes a month, just think of everything going on that could influence inputs and the resulting plan. If we’re not stuck on a one word description for each step maybe plan becomes “Plan Now”. The one thing Deming did promote was testing possible effects as early as possible. This was really focused on process improvement but could also apply to planning demand and supply. There is huge value in “testing” demand increases or decreases to see impact before moving on to execution or the “Do” phase. If I may then, just add one more word to this phase it would be, “Plan/Simulate Now”. Do: This is the money step. […]
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