What Are Rules for Doing Concurrent PDSA Cycles?

David M. Williams, PhD, Improvement Advisor, TrueSimple Improvement

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Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Explain why PDSA cycles should be iterative.
  • Discuss why it can sometimes be necessary to test more than one change at a time.
  • Recognize why it can be confusing to mix too many PDSA cycles at the same time.
Description: Improvement can be slow and methodical, and sometimes it makes sense to test two changes at the same time. What should you keep in mind in these situations? And what should you be wary of when you run multiple PDSA cycles? Improvement Advisor David Williams shares his expert knowledge.
Discussion Questions:
  1. Why should you take learning from one PDSA cycle and apply it to subsequent cycles?
  2. Why isn’t one independent change likely to result in improvement of a system?
  3. Why is it important to isolate changes when working on improvement?
  4. Have you ever run two (or more) concurrent PDSA cycles during an improvement project? What was your experience?
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