The concept of continual improvement is an established business practice in today’s economy. The idea was founded in the statistical process control methods developed by Walter A. Shewhart of Bell Labs and later generalized by W. Edwards Deming into the PDSA cycle:
- Plan: What are the desired outputs? What can be changed to achieve the desired goal?
- Do: Implement the plan and gather data.
- Study: Review the outcomes based on the collected data (more commonly called the “Check” phase).
- Act: If the outcomes were meet, act to make the plan the new standard.
Of course, when completed, we return to the planning phase and look for further improvement to continue the cycle. Are we communicating this idea to students and employees? Can we apply this principle to the concept of “lifelong learning?”