Explanation of the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust Cycle in Scrum

GoRetro Team
January 5, 2023
Posted on
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What is the PDCA Cycle?

The plan-do-check-adjust (PDCA) cycle, also known as the Deming cycle or the continuous improvement cycle, is a key element of the Scrum framework. It is a cycle of continuous improvement that helps teams identify problems, make changes, and continually improve their processes. This cycle is important for not only the development team, but also for stakeholders, as it helps ensure that the final product meets the needs and expectations of all parties involved.

How does the PDCA fit into Scrum?

In Scrum, the PDCA cycle occurs at various points throughout the project. It is a key part of the Scrum framework, as it helps teams continually improve their processes and identify problems early on.

The components that make up Scrum
The components that make up Scrum

When does the Plan-Do-Adjust-Cycle occur in Scrum

During Sprint Retrospectives

One place where the PDCA cycle occurs in Scrum is during the sprint retrospective. At the end of each sprint, the Scrum team comes together to reflect on their work and identify areas for improvement. This is known as the sprint retrospective. During this meeting, the team will review their work from the past sprint and identify any problems or challenges they faced. They will then come up with a plan to address these problems and make improvements for the next sprint. Stakeholders may also be invited to participate in this meeting to provide their perspectives and help shape the plan for improvement.

During Daily-Scrums

Another place where the PDCA cycle occurs in Scrum is during the daily Scrum. During this daily meeting, team members give a brief update on their progress nd any roadblocks they are facing. If a team member is having a problem, the team can discuss possible solutions and make adjustments as needed. This helps to ensure that issues are addressed quickly and the team stays on track. Stakeholders may also be informed of progress and challenges during this meeting to keep them up-to-date on the project.


Overall, the PDCA cycle is an integral part of Scrum and helps teams continually improve their processes and deliver high-quality products that meet the needs of stakeholders. By regularly reflecting on their work and making adjustments as needed, teams can ensure that they are continuously improving and working towards their goals.

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