The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA)
Improvement Process

The 9-step PDSA process is a simple and effective way to apply PDSA to your organisation’s improvement opportunities.

Plan Do Study Act Improvement Process

Each step is represented by a series of questions. Each question guides the user in:

  • establishing a shared vision of excellence (Plan)
  • identifying the root causes of the problem or issue (Plan)
  • considering the factors driving and restraining improvement (Plan)
  • understanding the needs of those the improvement is serving (Plan)
  • documenting a theory for improvement (action plan) (Plan)
  • implementing the action plan (Do)
  • reflecting on the impact of our improvement effort (Study)
  • capturing the gains made (Act).

Improvement tools are used to support, promote inclusivity and expedite the process.

Learn more about Quality Learning tools.

PDSA Storyboards

PDSA Storyboards are an essential feature of the PDSA Improvement process.

Storyboards are used:

  • to document an improvement team’s progress and findings
  • as a reference and guide for the team
  • to enable the team to quickly pick up from where they left off at each team meeting
  • to sharing the quality improvement process and decision-making with others
  • to induct new members into the team
  • as a historical record of the improvement efforts.

Students with PDSA Storyboard

(Our thanks to the students of Caragabal Central School in New South Wales - pictured left - for sharing their PDSA Improvement Storyboard. They used the process to bring about significant improvement to their local park).


Learn more about PDSA: