PDCA (plan–do–check–act) is an iterative four-step management process typically used in business. It is also known as the Deming circle/cycle/wheel, Shewhart cycle, control circle/cycle, or plan–do–study–act (PDSA).
PDCA is a successive cycle which starts off small to test potential effects on processes, but then gradually leads to larger and more targeted change. Plan, Do, Check, Act are the four components of Work bench in Software testing.
Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output (the target or goals). By making the expected output the focus, it differs from other techniques in that the completeness and accuracy of the specification is also part of the improvement.
Implement the new processes, often on a small scale if possible, to test possible effects. It is important to collect data for charting and analysis for the following “CHECK” step.
Measure the new processes and compare the results (collected in “DO” above) against the expected results (targets or goals from the “PLAN”) to ascertain any differences. Charting data can make this much easier to see trends in order to convert the collected data into information. Information is what you need for the next step “ACT”.
Analyse the differences to determine their cause. Each will be part of either one or more of the P-D-C-A steps. Determine where to apply changes that will include improvement. When a pass through these four steps does not result in the need to improve, refine the scope to which PDCA is applied until there is a plan that involves improvement.
For more information on PDCA visit Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCA