The datacratic PDCA

Link your data to improvement cycles

Connect data with continuous improvement and PDCA and your organization blossoms all over again. People will enjoy their work more because they will regain control. Datacracy is a promising and already proven way of working that every organization should embrace immediately. However, many companies still have a long way to go before they have a datacratic culture. Structure, processes and people’s behavior will all have to change. A datacratic PDCA also start with the people. Datacratic working signals a movement and the thinking can be mastered by anyone.

The 4 elements of the datacratic PDCA

The NPRS case study for instance immediately reveals what can be achieved by linking data to working with improvement cycles. We’re also linking some other important concepts to the term PDCA. These other terms (Reflect, Inspire, Mobilize and Evaluate) help to be able to learn based on data (datacratic) and make the learning loop suitable for the 21st century. And so, we arrive at the datacratic PDCA cycle (see figure 1):

The datacratic PDCA Figure 1: The datacratic PDCA

An interplay

There’s an interplay hidden between Plan and Passion. The plan is born from passion. At the same time, a good plan inflames professional passion. The Do phase uses data, and the data leads to a new content of the Do phase. The Check creates more Conscious control and it development ensures that the Check is more integral, with more depth and attention to detail. The Actualize phase creates autonomy.

The result of running PDCA cycles is that professionals no longer have to dance to the manager’s tune

The datacratic PDCA cycle leads to an alternative based on facts (data), which ensures that the professional can determine the next step with more autonomy. More autonomy leads to people taking more ownership over the Actualize phase, so that they can execute it based on their own ideas – for the greater good, of course.

NPRS: lessons learned

Some valuable lessons can be gleaned from the case study of the National Program Rotterdam South that coincide with the eight terms from the datacratic PDCA cycle.

Impact on learning and improving

When consistently developing the datacratic PDCA cycle, the terms Passion, Data, Conscious control, and Autonomy will keep growing as more PDCA cycles are completed. Plan, Do, Check, Act keep rotations while Passion, Data, Conscious control, and Autonomy increase. This implies that the PDCA cycle isn’t just a systemic form of learning. And that it definitely doesn’t stop there.

The core of the datacratic PDCA cycle is the following, coinciding with the technical learning:

  • Developing humanity (passion).
  • Maintaining objectivity (data).
  • Becoming aware of the relevant factors we can control (conscious control).
  • Growing in self-reliance (autonomy).

Looking for more depth

Before I zoom in on respectively the P for passion and plan, the D for data and do, the C for check and conscious control, and the A for actualize and autonomy, first it’s time to look at some subjects that add further depth, so that we can assign the proper meaning and activities to the datacratic PDCA. Make the step from data to improvement by:

In another blog we’ll cover how these developments from data to improvement ensure that your organization is becoming more intelligent and data-driven, and what the value of data is in the context of storytelling.

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Daan van Beek, Managing Director

DAAN VAN BEEK MSc

Managing Director

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