Run a Guided PDSA - Plan (Start, Learning Questions, Data Type, Predictions, Share)

A PDSA cycle is the basic method of inquiry in improvement research. It’s a pragmatic scientific method for iterative testing of changes in complex systems. Each cycle (Plan-Do-Study-Act) is a mini-experiment in which observed outcomes are compared to predictions. Discrepancies between predictions and observed outcomes become a source of learning.

To Plan a guided PDSA, select the change idea from the Driver List on which you would like to run a PDSA. On the change idea page, select Start Guided PDSA.



The Plan screen will prompt you to answer specific Learning Questions about the PDSA. Below each Learning Question, enter your predicted answer in response to the question posed. Select the type of data you will collect (qualitative, quantitative, or both).


If applicable, add Additional Questions for the PDSA cycle.

To Add a Question, enter your question in the Question field, enter your predicted answer in the Prediction field, and select the type of data you will collect (qualitative, quantitative, or both).


Select Next to proceed to the next Plan section.

Select a date by which the PDSA cycle will be completed. You may revise this date at any time. Add any relevant details and Logistics about the test and how it will be run. If applicable, enter necessary Supplies and Materials for conducting the test. You may also upload additional relevant artifacts. Select Next to proceed to the next Plan section.


If you would like to share your PDSA plan with another member of your network, enter his/her email under Share your Plan. At this time, you may only share your PDSA plan with one email address at a time, although you may submit multiple email addresses by sharing multiple times. You may also gather feedback on your plan from coaches and experts under Get Feedback.


If you are ready to proceed, select the Next: Do button to continue with the PDSA cycle.

Note: Depending on your NIC’s NILS instance, phase and your network role, some items may appear differently in the menu bar.

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