I wrote in my article “Start Ups 2014: Generation of Entrepreneurs Without a Business Plan?” about the importance of a business plan.
In this article I want to outline the importance of checking of & feedback on business/product planson regular basis because plans are never set in stone.
I met a lot of entrepreneurs. In general they have a clear vision of the future and a good sense for possibilities and opportunities (that’s why they started their own business). Entrepreneurs are often change makers in a traditional set world.
Modern entrepreneurs need to revitalize their entrepreneurship on regular basis and add tools like PDCA (or Deming wheel*) to their toolkit if they want to keep ahead of competitors.
Testing (checking – feedback) is not a one-off. Once you’ve started this cycle pattern, it continuous in spirals. This is the power of PDCA. Using knowledge based on real feedback to improve your product/concept and start a new cycle for new products/ideas.
Why entrepreneurs don’t take the benefit of PDCA
In my opinion:
1) Most entrepreneurs don’t take enough time to check or the results after the launch (or test) of a new product/idea
2) Selective hearing
3) They choose the most obvious explanation why a launch succeeded or failed
4) In this stage entrepreneurs actually never learn.
When I ask entrepreneurs why they don’t do a proper check, I often hear:
1) I am facing to many day-to-day affairs so I don’t give myself sufficient time to do a better check for good feedback
2) I jump often to a conclusion because I think that making decisions “on the fly” is the best way to solve problems
3) Every minute counts and only large companies have the resources and time to do proper research.
But this is wrong! A proven method doesn’t cost more time than “jumping to a conclusion”. Actually a proven method saves time because it enables entrepreneurs to implement new products/ideas through focused processes. It enables entrepreneurs to make way for better improvements & innovations.
W. Edwards Deming already stated: “it’s not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.”
In my opinion entrepreneurs should:
– Step 1: Write a short business/product plan so others know their vision, mission and strategy
– Step 2: Implement this business/product plan to keep focus while executing implementation
– Step 3: Check & ask for feedback from customers
– Step 4: Refine business/product plan to improve results, innovate and keep ahead of competitors.
The PDCA cycle is a good start for entrepreneurs of reinventing & testing their ideas in a very simple and proven way.
I wish all entrepreneurs a lot of feedback & improvements!
If you want more information:
– The W. Edwards Deming Institute: https://www.deming.org/theman/theories/pdsacycle
– PDSA worksheet: http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Tools/PlanDoStudyActWorksheet.aspx
– Six Sigma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma
– Kaizen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen
Note*: it’s a myth that Deming introduced the PDCA cycle. Actually Shewhart introduced the PDCA cycle and Deming used this cycle as a base for his own PDSA cycle: Plan – Do – Study – Act.