Start and Run a Freeform 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.

To run a freeform 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 Freeform PDSA. The system will guide you through the various elements for running your PDSA.



In the freeform PDSA text box, enter your Plan, Do, and Study information.


Attach relevant artifacts with the orange Attach new files button.


If your freeform PDSA is complete, select an action: Adopt, Adapt, Abandon, or Not Applicable.


Selecting Adapt prompts you to explain how you will iterate on the change idea.


Selecting Abandon prompts you to explain why you will abandon testing the change idea.


Select Complete and Publish.


If you will return to your freeform PDSA to add additional information, or if you have paused at the Plan, Do, or Study sections, select Save as in-progress. Your freeform PDSA will be visible on the Homepage, where you can select it to continue your work.


Do not upload any Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

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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