Plan Do Check Act – do you use the whole cycle?

Plan Do Check Act – do you use the whole cycle?

The importance of the whole of the Plan Do Check Act cycle in achieving desired results was illustrated to me the other day while learning to paddleboard.

One of our group knelt on the board as we had been shown, adjusted their position so that their feet would be in the right place when they stood up (plan), and stood up slowly (do). This allowed them to make adjustments as the board wobbled (check & act), and very soon they were happily paddling along.

Another started off by kneeling in the same way. They then leapt onto the board (do), sending it flying – and them splashing into the water at great speed. Once the board was retrieved, this process was repeated a number of times (do), with marginal improvements. That person didn’t enjoy the experience and quickly gave up.

It was a classic example of ‘doing’ before ‘planning’, not learning from the experience and repeating the same mistake.

If you have had any unsuccessful environmental initiatives, is it possible that, with improved planning, there could have been an improved result? That identifying ‘wobbles’ early on might have allowed you to make an adjustment and nudged the project to success?