Successful Planning with Building Blocks
The Winding Stairway

In industry, manufacturing and other businesses, they have studied how to make improvements in what they do. They break it down into parts and have a plan for how they approach things. An important part of the process is trying something, seeing if it works, modifying the plan and trying the new plan, and doing that over and over until they get what they are looking for. It's called the PDCA approach - Plan - Do - Check - Act.

The PDCA - Plan-Do-Check-Act - Approach

Basically, it looks like this:


Establish the mini-goal. Set a tentative time when you want to make it happen.


Put the plan in place - do the things you have listed to do. While you are doing it, keep track of what you are doing, how you feel, what works, what doesn't work.


Study the actual results - what you planned, what you did, and where you are at today. Compare that to what you had hoped would be the result - where you hoped to be. If you aren't where you wanted to be or the approach didn't work as you planned, what do you think needs to be changed.

    ACT - Analyze -

Analyze the differences between where you are and where you wanted to be. What go in the way? What worked? What didn't? What changed to you think you need to make to the action steps or your plan to make it work better? What support do you need? Do you need different action steps? Is the timeline off?

Then, you move to the next step. Go back to the top and revise your plan with your new information.

Real Life Use of PDCA

In real life, using this approach looks more like climbing stairs, one at a time, until we find what really works. In making changes or creating your program for any change - whether it is OI Retraining, losing weight, or reaching any goal.

Without thinking about it, this is how we learn most things. When you first learn to pour from a carton into a cup, you try it. You spill. Next time, you adjust how you pour or hold the cup. You might spill again. So, you adjust how you pour - again and again until you get it right. Same thing with learning to ride a bike or drive a car!

You have probably been trying the same approach to getting over this dizziness-with-standing thing. There are some pieces that have been missing from the puzzle - pieces that can make the difference in whether you will succeed.



PDCA Cycles - A Winding Stairway to the Top

Or you might think of it as a stairway with a lot of landings where the stairs change direction until you get to the top floor. Each landing is a 'mini-goal'. Each stair or step up to the next landing or 'mini-goal' is another PDCA cycle.

in each cycle, something worked. We followed that approach until we improved. Now, we are at a new place, a new level of ability. we have reached a 'mini-goal' or landing on the staircase.

Now we are ready to advance up another level. We have to rethink our approach and come up with new things to do. We create new PDCA cycles and keep repeating the cycle until we get to the next "landing" or 'mini-goal'. When we master that, we go to the next level and come up with a new plan for where we are now. We keep doing this until we get to the level we want to be at. Then, we have to do one more PDCA to come up with a plan for "maintenance", how to keep us where we want to be.

Authors NoteAuthors's Note:  We will be expanding this whole section in the coming days and weeks. Go to this page to either sign up for Email notices or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be alerted when more is posted.

Author: Kay E. Jewell, MD
Page Last Updated: August 22, 2012

Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is presented as an educational resource for you and your healing team. It is not intended to substitute for medical or other advice. Please consult your physician or other health care professional regarding your symptoms, your medical needs and the appropriateness of information for you and your situation. KEJ

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The Orthostatic Intolerance (OI) Center by Kay E. Jewell, MD is Open Access, licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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