PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act)

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.

NILS enables you to search for PDSAs on change ideas, or to start and run your own PDSA. To find PDSAs, select Find PDSAs in the grey menu bar.

To start your own PDSA, select the change idea on which you would like to run a PDSA, then select the orange box that says Start PDSA. The system will guide you through the various elements for testing and running your PDSA:

  • Plan: learning questions, predictions, data requirements, completion date, logistics, uploading artifacts, sharing PDSAs
  • Do: time-stamped data, observations, uploading artifacts
  • Study: comparing predictions to observed results
  • Act: adopt, adapt, abandon
    • Note: Adapting a change idea will cause the system to open a new PDSA cycle for the change idea you have elected to adapt.



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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