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Implementing the 7 Element OEMS: Plan-Do-Check-Adjust

Determining the size of the prize & prioritizing gaps in the elements are integral components of the Plan portion of the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) cycle for the continuous improvement. Not setting clear objectives and establishing the priority for achieving them will result in your organization wasting considerable time/energy working in an uncoordinated way towards a number of different objectives. With a prioritized list of objectives in hand, your team can begin developing the plans to achieve those objectives and kick-off the PDCA cycle for each Element to drive continuous improvement.


Established & prioritized goals, targets & objectives are incorporated in to business planning and budgeting processes; plans are developed to implement changes, processes, etc to achieve those goals

Execution of the plans developed to achieve goals, targets & objectives; most of your team’s time should be spent in this step of the PDCA cycle – planning and reviewing performance are important steps, but it is only through doing that you will be able to 1) achieve your objectives and 2) learn about your processes & organization to drive continuous improvement

Regular reviews & assessments of the progress of the plans towards achieving their goals; generally key metrics, audit findings, project timeline tracking, etc will be collected

Overall effectiveness of the plans is assessed (typically through a Management Review process with broad visibility of projects & performance across the organization); opportunity to learn from what does/does not work, results that differed from expectations & lessons learned from implementation team

Operational Excellence can only be achieved by achieving excellence in each of the 7 OEMS Elements. And the regular application of the PDCA cycle to each of the Elements to drive continuous improvement is the only proven, reliable means to drive excellence. It is also important to note that the PDCA cycle is not a separate activity or project. The 7 Elements should drive your business planning & operations, and the PDCA cycle needs to be integrated into those activities.

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