Rate of change, that is, rate of improvement, is a key competitive factor in today's world. [ citation needed ] PDCA allows for major "jumps" in performance ("breakthroughs" often desired in a Western approach), as well as kaizen (frequent small improvements). [ citation needed ] In the United States a PDCA approach is usually associated with a sizable project involving numerous people's time, [ citation needed ] and thus managers want to see large "breakthrough" improvements to justify the effort expended. However, the scientific method and PDCA apply to all sorts of projects and improvement activities.  : 76
Zappos could have gone another route entirely. It could have started its shoe inventory and simple resold them. However, by using the Build-Measure-Learn approach, it was able to test the waters first, so to speak. Instead of spending a lot of time building its inventory and hiring personnel to handle operations, it stuck to just the founders doing all the work, and getting orders first before procuring the shoes. Their first attempt worked, and it was only then that the founders decided to continue (“persevere”) with it. Today, Zappos is no longer limited to the sale of shoes, but is also selling other items as well, and that could be attributed to them “learning” that customers are also interested in buying merchandise other than shoes or footwear.
Plan. The A+ Approach begins with a “plan” step called “analyze.” In this step, students’ needs are analyzed by examining a range of data available in Pearl River’s electronic data “warehouse,” from grades to performance on standardized tests. Data can be analyzed for individual students or stratified by grade, gender or any other subgroup. Because PDCA does not specify how to analyze data, a separate data analysis process (Figure 3) is used here as well as in other processes throughout the organization.