Background on this Tool
This Plan, Do, Study, Act/Adjust (PDSA) template is designed to help district, building, and teacher leaders connect actions taken to the direct results impacted by the actions. The PDSA format requires leaders to validate the need for improvement with clear goals and measures, identify the strategies and timeline to accomplish the goals and measures, study the implementation of the actions through both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and then make decisions on what can remain in action or what needs to be adjusted in order to achieve the desired goals.
For more information about the the Plan, Do, Study, Act/Adjust (PDSA) cycle, please review "A Primer for Continuous Improvement in Schools and Districts."
Guidance on How to Leverage this Tool
The PDSA template can be utilized in order to improve an array of processes embedded within a school. This template allows leaders to think systematically in their approach to ensuring a building operates for the best outcomes of all stakeholders. Engaging staff in a wide range of PDSA processes allows for a formalized model in which all staff are engaging in a continuous improvement cycle.
Getting Started with the Plan, Do, Study, Act/Adjust Template
District and building leaders are encouraged to collaboratively identify one process in which to implement the PDSA continuous improvement cycle approach with all staff. This identified process can start with an academic goal, or it can start with an operational goal such as dismissal procedures. It will be important to identify a goal that the entire staff can engage with in order to fully understand each step of the PDSA structure. Once engaging in an initial PDSA structure, scaffold the utilization of this formalized process for continuous improvement throughout grade level teams and/or content areas. Ensure to celebrate quick wins in utilizing the PDSA approach, and encourage the use of this process as a coach and supportive advisor during the initial implementation, active application, and sustained use of this continuous improvement cycle. Above all, it is vital to embrace the PDSA structure as a leader in order to “walk the talk” of a continuous improvement mindset.