PDCA Example 1: Industrial Application
Our first PDCA example looks at the president of Acme Bathroom Remodeling as he studies some figures and realizes that projects get bogged down during bathtub installation. He assembles two of his installers, his secretary, and his bookkeeper and assigns them to meet on a biweekly basis.
First, he identifies that bathtub installation averages three days and thirty-two manpower hours. Then he rewrites his statement so that it reflects how many days he believes it should take: “Within six weeks, installing a bathtub will take one day and ten manpower hours." In this example, the manager has not said “It takes too long to install a bathtub." Instead, he has stated when he wants to see an improvement, exactly what that improvement will be, and how it will be measured.
Next, the team kicks around possible reasons for the lengthy installation time:
- Does the customer choose the bathtub early enough in the remodeling process?
- Are there delays in ordering the bathtub from the manufacturer?
- Are the hardware, sealants, and other materials necessary for installation always on hand?
Over the next few weeks, team members are assigned to track these various factors. But now that everybody is paying attention to improving the process, it is discovered that some bathtubs are shipped by one method that is much quicker than another. The Plan is acted upon—or revised—and the process continues including this new parameter. With the revised plan the customer chooses the bathtub at the onset of remodeling, which is then ordered in a timely fashion and shipped by the preferred shipper. Adequate installation materials are kept on hand; and halfway through the second cycle, the manager realizes that the goal is met.