How to plan your PDSA cycle as a team

Picture of Jason Williams

Published on 2 December 2019 at 17:31

by Jason Williams

How to Plan your PDSA Cycles as a team

PDSA cycles should be rapid and the changes simple!


Consequently, we can expect the planning stage of a PDSA cycle to be as equally straightforward.


However, as you will be conducting multiple PDSA cycles, it's a good idea to create a clear set of steps that you can follow to make each cycle as rapid as possible:



Step 1: Arrange a kick-off meeting


Gather your team together to discuss the aim of the PDSA cycle and to decide which measure you will be using to evaluate your results.


Decide on a suitable start date. (Don't decide on a deadline until you have completed the next few steps.)


Step 2: Evaluate the team

Consider people's strengths and weaknesses.


Does anyone have any particular skills? Is there anyone who has limited time to give to the project? Who will be best at remembering to collect the data needed to demonstrate improvement?


This will go a long way in making delegating tasks easier.


Step 3: Brainstorm a list of potential tasks and estimate their difficulty and effort

The tasks should be as specific as possible so that you can list an individual responsible and a deadline.


Potential tasks could include:


1. Set-up tasks:

o Informing key stakeholders and staff about the change

o Creating any questionnaires, data sheets, information packs, and checklists

o Giving out data sheets


2. Data collection

o Collecting questionnaires and other data sheets daily/weekly/monthly


3. Data evaluation

o Create an SPC chart and upload your data to evaluate your results.


  1. Check-in meetings / huddles

o Get the team together regularly to review progress and plan next steps


Step 4: Delegate tasks and set deadlines

It's crucial to make sure that everyone knows who is responsible for which task.


On Life QI you can assign a team member and set a deadline for each task in the 'Plan' section of a PDSA cycle. Life QI will also automatically list the tasks in order of the date that they need to be completed by, starting with the closest deadline first.



Step 5: Arrange a meeting to discuss results

Arrange a post-PDSA meeting to discuss the data, and to think about how the results will inform the next PDSA cycle. Are you going to adopt, adapt or abandon your change idea?



How do you like to plan your projects?

Do you have any experience in carrying out rapid PDSA cycles? Let us know, we’d love to learn from you – email us at




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