Process Improvement and Grilling Steak

What’s a weekend without grilling steak?  I would say a weekend without a good blog post idea.  Some things in life are an art and some a science.  It doesn’t matter if it’s project management/leadership or grilling a steak.

So, what is a geeky way to write about grilling the perfect steak?  I would say compare it to the Deming cycle, or PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle to illustrate the point.  PDCA is a continuous quality improvement model consisting of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement.

  • Plan what you intend to do. In this step assess where you are, where you need to be, why it is important, and plan how to close the gap. Identify some potential solutions.
  • Do try out or test the solutions.
  • Check to see if the changes you tried had the effect you hoped for, and make sure that there are no negative consequences associated with them. Assess if you have accomplished your objective.
  • Act on what you have learned. If you have accomplished your objective, put controls into place so the issue never happens again. If you have not accomplished your objective, go through the cycle again, starting with the Plan step.

PDCA applies to entrepreneurial ideas, application development, and anything that happens to do with my grill.  Realistically, you can apply it to anything where unknowns exist.  There are just so many variables, you need to be prepared to act and pivot.  I have grilled countless steaks and have refined my process to the point that it finally meets my quality standards.  On occasion, I do check to see if my process holds true and all I do is mess up a good steak.  I won’t go into specifics as to what my perfect grilled steak process is.  (Unless someone asks)  Rather, I’ll say I documented it and saved it in Evernote.

Now if only I could do the same with a hamburger.

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About Derek Huether

I'm an Enterprise Agile Coach at LeadingAgile. I have a goal to take the hand waving out of Agile, Kanban, & Scrum. I’m a strange combination of a little OCD, a little ADHD, a lot of grit, and a lot of drive. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)