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Walter Shewart
W Edwards Deming

The Plan Do Study Act PDSA cycle was originally created by Walter Shewart. He titled this the Shewhart Learning and Improvement cycle, combining both management thinking with statistical analysis, having the acronym PDCA Plan-Do-Check-Act

W Edwards Deming then suggested changing the acronym to PDSA. The four continuous steps: Plan, Do, Study and Act draw upon the notion that constant evaluation (study) of management practices,  as well as the willingness of management to adopt and disregard unsupported ideas are key practices for the evolution of a successful enterprise. The concept was similar to Shewart, one based upon continuous evaluation and improvement.

Note that I emphasized management above. Shewart did not consider that the workers would do this improvement selection and hence his notion is outmoded in modern enterprises. See Problems with PDCA for detailed explanation of other problems with PDCA or PDSA.

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