How To Implement PDCA In Calibration Management

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.

If you can't manage it, you can't improve it.



How To Implement PDCA In Calibration Management

W.Edwards Deming and Walter Shewart are credited with the PDCA-Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle later revised to PDSA- Check revised to Study.

how to implement plan do check act in calibration management alliance calibration.jpg


The PDCA cycle- Plan, Do, Check, Act- has no end. It is a continuous improvement cycle. You should always be evaluating your calibration management system for effectiveness.





Every good plan starts with a SWOT analysis. What could be identified as  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in calibration management? Here are some common examples:

Strength-Documented calibration system process and procedures

Weaknesses-Gages are not found when onsite calibration is performed

Opportunities-Lack of documentation when extended calibration cycles

Threats-Gages being used with expired calibration cycles

Once you have performed your SWOT analysis now would be a good time to perform a calibration audit.

Download The Calibration Audit Checklist



The information gathered from your SWOT analysis and calibration audit provides the framework for a plan of action. This may include such things as shadow boards for measurement & test equipment, floor audits, daily checks, etc.  Develop a plan that best addresses your specific needs and DO it.



Did you meet your goal or expected outcome? Yes or No.  There is no gray area. 

We have found the use of SMART goals to be an effective tool in the PDCA. 

Specific- A clearly defined goal should be understandable in 1 sentence.

Measurable- Hard metrics and Hard KPIs will keep you on track e.g.We will improve X to Y.

Attainable- Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Setting attainable goals and consistently achieving them over time builds a solid foundation for future success. Unrealistic goals demoralize your team when they are not met.

Relevant- While a calibration sticker is important, a relevant check would to examine the calibration status on the sticker.

Time-Bound- X to Y by Date. Keep it that simple.


You may want to read this article on The 7 Wastes In Calibration Management.



You missed your goal. That happens. Find out why. Make the necessary adjustments.

You met your goal. Great! Now capitalize on that success and begin  planning your next goal.

Check out these resources on PDCA.


Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

Related Posts

3 Big Risks You Are Taking In Calibration

ISO 9001 is all about Risk and Risk Management. Your first inclination might be that as long as you...



The concept/methodology of Kanban for manufacturing is well established. Am I just nuts for trying...


3 Big Mistakes When Changing Calibration Intervals