maintain high results in a continuous and standardized way – WAU

After learning in this text about the PDCA (Plan, Develop, Check, Act) and what its applications are, it is time to go deeper into the SDCA (Standardize, Develop, Control and Act). PDCA method: understand how to apply to improve your company’s results As I said in the text about PDCA, the purpose of this method is […]

After learning in this text about the PDCA (Plan, Develop, Check, Act) and what its applications are, it is time to go deeper into the SDCA (Standardize, Develop, Control and Act).

PDCA method: understand how to apply to improve your company’s results

As I said in the text about PDCA, the objective of this method is to ensure continuous improvement in the company’s processes and, for that, we jointly adopted the PDCA and the SDCA.

The PDCA, then, should be used when the objective is to improve the results of a specific sector or company by creating new standards or changing existing standards. The SDCA, on the other hand, should be used in order to keep the results at the current level.

But what is the difference between the PDCA and the SDCA?

The first difference between PDCA and SDCA is the application of the method I mentioned above. One is applied to improve results and the other for maintenance.

The second difference is in P and S. In PDCA, P is the planning stage and is composed of 4 subdivisions: problem identification, phenomenon analysis, process analysis and action plan. In the SDCA, the S is the standardization stage (which in English is “standard”) to keep the results at the current level. The other stages of the SDCA have the same meaning as the PDCA.

The subdivisions of the SDCA are:

1. Set the default goal

Setting the standard goal is the first step towards maintaining results. This is the time to choose which process we will standardize to ensure its maintenance.

Examples of a standard goal: keep net churn below 2%, maintain the level of satisfaction of our customers at 95%, keep the response time to the customer within 24 hours.

2. Define the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

After defining which process will be standardized and which result will be maintained, we need to describe in detail how the process should be carried out to ensure that the result is maintained.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a document that explains in detail how to execute the processes that involve the result. POP aims to ensure that all people are aligned on what to do and how to do the tasks that involve the process.

In addition, it also reduces complexity, variability and operating costs, creating a perfect scenario for maintaining results!

It is important to remember that, in order to guarantee the good execution of the standards, they must be developed in a language compatible with that of the executors and based on the general consensus.

There is a series of precautions that must be taken into account when creating a SOP, among them are the involvement of specialists in that work, respect for a logical sequence of facts, the use of simple and objective language and the definition of the person responsible for preparation and approval of the document.

3. Comply with the POP

After the elaboration and disclosure of the Standard Operating Procedure, we reached the stage of training employees to implement the standards. In this training, it should be clear that it is important that the POP is followed exactly as described.

Still at this stage, we will guarantee the execution of the POP and verify the involvement of the team.

4. Diagnose compliance with standards

For critical activities – those where a small error can strongly impact the outcome indicators – of our process, we need to confirm that the standards have been followed correctly and that the training has been effective or needs to be repeated. At this stage, it is essential to involve all the people who executed the standard, to ensure that it is prepared in the best possible way.

In this stage, we elaborate the Operational Work Diagnosis (DTO) that creates operational discipline and reduces risks in critical tasks.

5. Confirm the effectiveness of the POP

After verifying that the POP is being carried out correctly, we need to assess whether the standardization goals have been met. If so, the next step is to continue implementing the POP until such time as it makes sense to improve the result once again. At this point, we will move on to the PDCA method again.

If after the execution of the POP the target has not been met, we will need to remove the symptoms and treat the anomalies.

6. Remove symptoms and treat abnormalities

The objective of this phase is to block the fundamental causes of the anomalies, making the results return to normal and can be standardized.

Anomalies should be treated whenever it is confirmed that the SOP has been followed correctly but the standard target has not been reached. This is the most difficult and laborious stage of the SDCA, because it demands the involvement and dedication of the entire team involved in the process.

7. Setting standards

Now that you have learned about the complete PDCA cycle (PDCA + SDCA), I imagine you have already realized the importance of applying the method, right?

The great gain of the SDCA is to guarantee predictability of the results, because if the standards are met correctly, success is already expected.

Thus, it is victorious who meets standards.


Unpredictability without the SDCA and PDCA processes

To better understand, the graph on the right illustrates the situation that does not use SDCA and PDCA:


Accuracy with SDCA and PDCA processes

Looking at the chart below, we understand that the PDCA and SDCA must go together, to ensure that all processes are always evolving and growing in order to improve the company’s results. We also understand that the SDCA is the natural path for the success of the improvement projects achieved with the PDCA.

It is important to emphasize that, before complying with the standards, we need to reach the level that we want to maintain in order to standardize it.

The process of improving results requires a lot of knowledge and improvements in analysis, as well as the creation of a culture of execution, which eliminates the procrastination of employees’ routine.

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