The CAPdo-cycle is a proven framework for implementing continuous quality improvement. The four steps provide the framework for continuous improvement – it starts with a plan and ends with an action in accordance with the information learned during the process.
ODI’s Valery explains her approach to the CAPdo-cycle. Valery writes:
“Naturally different facilitators would have a different approach towards introducing the CAPdo-cycle to an NQF2 group, which would mostly consist of operators on the shop-floor and perhaps one or two first-line leaders.
My approach is to introduce the cycle, without calling it the CAPdo-cycle. After the completion of the cycle, I summarise all the steps that have been followed into the CAPdo-cycle. I find that it’s an easier way for the learners to grasp the concept.
The steps are as follows:
The facilitator defines what a problem is; the gap between the current state and the desired state. The learners then need to choose a problem. It can be either from their QDSM measures (Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety and Morale) or it can be related to the eight wastes (production, processing, inventory, waiting, transportation, motions, defects, human capital), or it can be from the question; “what makes work difficult?”
The learners list all the possible reasons as to why this problem is occurring. In this process, no analysis is done, and no reason is questioned or dismissed.
Every reason that was listed in step2 gets revisited with the question; “does this contribute to the problem?”, e.g. “If the driver doesn’t show up; will this result in late deliveries?” They must then put a “yes” or a “no” next to every reason. This process is also known as testing.
The reasons with a “yes” gets categorized into the elements of the fishbone; Man, Method, Material, Machine.
All the reasons get carried over to the fishbone and placed under the identified headings. The format of the fishbone gets explained, e.g. where the problem statement sits, as well as the direction of the arrows. Further analysis takes place by asking the “why” question until root causes are identified. At this stage, it is important to explain to the learners that the root cause/causes of a problem normally relates to a soft issue like training, policies/procedures/standards, communication, measurements, roles and responsibilities and design. This makes it easier for them to recognise the root cause/s.
The root causes gets highlighted and listed as “findings” on separate page.
The learners look at the findings, and make recommendations that relate to the findings. The facilitator explains that there could be more than one recommendation per finding.
The recommendations get carried over to an action plan with responsible people and due dates. The formulation of actions gets explained again. The learners must then look at their recommendations and ask themselves whether those would resolve the problem upon implementation. The facilitator also explains that a problem could be partially solved, or not solved, which would normally result in the problem re-curing.
Summarising the steps into the CAPdo:
Check: Step 1 & 2
Analyse: Step 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Plan & Do: Step 7, 8
The session gets rounded-off by explaining why the CAPdo is in the form of a cycle and also with discussing the reasons why it is important to celebrate success, e.g. motivation, energizing, rewarding and acknowledgement of teamwork, as well as introducing the next problem to be addressed.
Upon asking the learners what they’ve learned from the session, one of the replies always is that they now understand that a problem is not as one-sided as they thought and that it requires a thought-process.”
To read more about various aspects to consider when improving quality, by ODI’s MD: Huibie Jones, click here.