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Plan-Do-Study-Act Plus QTools™

This course will guide you in the effective use of the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) problem-solving model. Learn the steps and actions needed to carry out change in your organization. Valuable quality improvement tools are introduced as you move through the model. Knowledge check activities will let you apply what you’ve learned. Plus, you receive access to seven QTools™ courses, including 5 Whys, check sheet, fishbone diagram, flowchart, Pareto chart, run chart, and scatter diagram.

This easy-to-follow course, with engaging narration and animation, guides you step by step through the plan-do-study-act, or PDSA (also known as Plan-Do-Check-Act, PDCA), model, a four-step problem-solving model used to improve a process or carry out change.

Learn about the specific sub-steps and actions comprising each major step of the plan-do-study-act model, as well as the valuable quality improvement tools you can use to successfully complete each step. Review a practical, real-life scenario that leverages the PDSA model and the most appropriate quality tools to improve the process in question.

You'll be prompted at key points within the course to access the additional training for each of the quality tools (QTools™). These short, 30-minute modules will give you the tools you need to successfully complete an improvement project.

Interactive knowledge checks in this course let you apply what you’ve learned.

Training Information

  • CEU Hours: 0
  • Length: 8.5 Hours
  • ASQ RU: 0.85
  • Audience: New to Quality
  • Provider: ASQ

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the PDSA model, its origins, and its use in continuous quality improvement
  • List the four major steps of the PDSA model
  • Explain each step of the PDSA model and its sub-steps and actions
  • Identify the quality tools you could potentially use to complete each step of the PDSA model
  • Learn how to use quality tools, including 5 Whys, check sheet, fishbone diagram, flowchart, Pareto chart, run chart, and scatter diagram

  1. Overview of the Plan-Do-Study-Act Model
    1. PDSA: Described
    2. Benefits of Use
    3. Key Steps
    4. Origin of the Model
  2. The PDSA Model: Step by Step
    1. Plan: Identify an Opportunity and Plan for Improvement
      1. Identify the problem and goals
        1. Create a problem statement
        2. Define scope
        3. Identify resources and select the team
        4. Identify expected outcomes (SMART goals)
      2. Identify and study the current state
        1. Map the current state
        2. Identify information to be collected
        3. Identify information collection method
        4. Collect data
        5. Display and share data with team
      3. Analyze possible causes of the problem
        1. Identify and validate root causes
        2. Examine and prioritize possible solutions
        3. Move unused solutions to parking lot
    2. Do: Carry Out the Improvement Plan
      1. Create an action plan for improvement
      2. Establish improvement measures
      3. Implement the action plan on a small scale
      4. Collect data and track measures to determine improvement
    3. Study: Study Results
      1. Analyze data and compare to predicted results
      2. Summarize and share data with other stakeholders
      3. Develop a conclusion statement
    4. Act
      1. Adopt?
      2. Adapt?
      3. Abandon?
    5. PDSA vs. DMAIC vs. 10-Step Quality Improvement Process
  3. Working With the PDSA Model
    1. Watch a team work through a real-life scenario using the PDSA model and a variety of quality tools to drive process improvement
  4. Applying the PDSA Model
    1. Put your knowledge to work and apply what you have learned in a series of interactive knowledge checks
  5. Quality Tools Training
    1. 5 Whys
    2. Check Sheet
    3. Fishbone Diagram
    4. Flowchart
    5. Pareto Chart
    6. Run Chart
    7. Scatter Diagram 
  6. Summary


This is a self-paced course that can be started at any time.

Additional Notes

You must successfully complete the entire course before a Certificate of Completion can be awarded.

Technical Requirements

Hardware Requirements

  • PC, Mac, or mobile device
  • Audio speakers or headset
  • High-speed internet connection

Supported Browsers

You can view courses on any devices that support these browsers. This includes mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Android-enabled phones and tablets.

  • Windows: Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version)
  • Mac: Safari (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version)
  • Mobile: Safari in Apple iOS 10 or later, Google Chrome in Apple iOS 10 or later, Google Chrome in Android OS 4.4 or later

Required Browser Settings

  • JavaScript must be enabled for published courses to work.
  • Font downloads must be enabled to see the correct fonts and characters.
  • When using Internet Explorer, turn off Compatibility View for sites where courses are hosted.
  • Deactivate any pop-up blockers, spam filters, and company firewalls that could interfere with access to the e-learning.
  • Third-party toolbars such as Bing, Yahoo, and Google should also be disabled due to their own pop-up blocking capabilities.

Accessing Your E-learning

After registration, you will receive an email with access instructions. If you do not, please check your email junk, spam, or clutter folders.

We will refund you in full if you cancel your course within 30 calendar days of purchase and if no more than one module, or online Knowledge Check in the course has been accessed. If more than one module, or online Knowledge Check in the course is accessed, or if a PDF within the course is accessed, no refund will be provided even within 30 calendar days of purchase.

American Society for Quality (ASQ) has been at the forefront of quality improvement and excellence around the world for over 75 years with presence in 140 countries.
ASQ South Asia, head quartered in New Delhi, in over a decade, has engaged around 460 organizations in India with the likes of DRDO, BEL, Tata’s, Mahindra, L&T etc. to name a few, to develop a culture of quality and reliability by establishing performance excellence practices and systems.

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