Monday, May 5, 2008

Plan – Do – Check – Adjust

Today I like to refer to an interesting article by Orrin Woodward, the founder of TEAM, a leadership development service provider and education system for adults. Orrin was a systems engineer for one of the leading automobile manufacturers in Michigan before he and Chris Brady started the TEAM. Since then, they build a huge organization of dedicated and loyal men and women who are determined to restore moral and ethical values and create large communities of people who can be free personally and financially and help others do the same. Being healthy, wealthy and wise is a good condition to be.

PDCA can be used for many different circumstances; in business to make profits, in any organization and in personal life for growth, and to avoid frustration. Like with any goal, action is needed and if the action doesn’t bring the desired result adjustment is needed.

Orrin writes a blog every on leadership. This article appeared in November of 2007: Success Process:

1. Plan – “Those who fail to plan are planning to fail.” You must have a plan to accomplish practically anything in a positive direction. It has been said, “Any dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim against the current!” To be a live fish you must have a plan; otherwise, you are floating downstream.
2. Do – “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Many would be leaders were planning on doing something great, but never got around to it. One of my favorite quotes is, “When all is said and done, much more is said than ever done.” The best plan in the world won’t accomplish anything unless it is implemented. Develop the plan and then have the courage to begin. A job well begun is half done!
3. Check – Many people fail at this point. They set a plan and begin the work, but never check to see if the plan is moving them in the right direction. Life is more like taking a canoe down a river. There are many course corrections along the way. Factors like the river current, obstacles in the water, and bends and turns will make you constantly seeking feedback. Without feedback you will run ashore and wonder why the plan didn’t work. By checking your results you will know which factors are different than you originally assumed and be in a position to make the necessary changes.
4. Adjust – After checking your results and identifying areas for improvement—the next step is to make the necessary adjustments. This does not mean your plan was bad, but only that we are human and cannot predict all the possible outcomes. By following this PDCA process—the destination will be met by adjusting the plan after you have checked for feedback. If we were all knowing, our plan would work by planning and doing. As human beings we must plan our work, do our work, check our work and adjust where necessary.

Here is the link to the full article:

I trust in Orrin’s leadership and spend many hours listening to his advice and wisdom. He is not only a very smart man, but also leads a very balanced and generous life. He and his wife Laurie have four children and are fully dedicated to bring victory through the TEAM. To learn more about the TEAM, please visit:

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