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Toyota's Eight-Step Decision-Making Process

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Toyota's Eight-Step Decision-Making Process

As an employee of Toyota, we are taught to plan, do, check, and act (PDCA). PDCA is a four-step process that never ends. PDCA is a problem-solving process to carry out change. The PDCA cycle is repetitive to ensure continuous improvement. Toyota's eight-step decision-making process includes the four steps of PDCA. Toyota's eight-step decision-making process is as follows:

1. Clarify the problem

2. Breakdown the problem

3. Set a target

4. Analyze the root cause

5. Develop countermeasures

6. See countermeasures through

7. Evaluate both results and process

8. Standardize successful processes (Miller, 2009).

Employees implement PDCA when starting a new project, product, or service (Tague, 2004). The decision making process is most prevalent in kaizens. Kaizen is the Japanese term for "continuous improvement." When an employee or manager recognizes an opportunity for change, he or she uses the PDCA cycle. First, he she develops a plan to make the change. After the formulation of a plan, he or she implements the plan. He or she evaluates and tests the change, to check to see if the change was effective. The last step is to take action. If the change did not work, repeat the PDCA cycle with a new plan (Tague, 2004). If the change was a success, he or she are to take what they learned and implement it in other areas that may need the same change (Tague, 2004).


Miller, J. (2009, February 22). TBP: Toyota Business Practice. Rtrieved June 23, 2011, from Gemba Panta Rei:

Tague, N. R. (2004). Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. ASQ: The Global Voice of Quality, 390-392.



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