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What is Deming's 'Shewhart' cycle?


Frequently Asked Questions

Deming was widely credited with leading the quality revolution in Japan in the 1950s, and worked with American businesses in the 1980s. One of the principle components of his approach is the change methodology that he named after another quality 'guru', Walter Shewhart. This approach has four steps:

  1. Plan - decide on desirable changes and evaluate existing data, and consider if new information is required.
  2. Do - make changes decided upon, preferably in a small, experimental way.
  3. Check - evaluate the effects of the experiment.
  4. Act - implement the required changes.

This is usually represented as a cycle, intended as means of accumulating knowledge.

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