The PDCA cycle: an example

In this article, I will describe what a PDCA cycle could look like. We will discuss the case of a Hotel that sees a decrease in its ratings and want to solve the problem using the PDCA cycle.

introduction to the case

Hotel Sunrise is a 4-star hotel that lies on a beautiful beach. Since there are many hotels in the region it is important to have a good rating on the different booking websites. The hotel manager has detected that the rating of the hotel is steadily decreasing over the last two years compared to the other 4 star hotels in the region. She is determined to improve the rating again.

As a first step, she defines her team. She decides to include the head of the sales and marketing department, the head of the room division, and the head of maintenance. She calls her team together!


The first step is to describe the problem clearly.

The hotel manager explains to the team what the problem is. When she looks at the 3 big booking sites:,, and, she noticed that the rating of the hotel has dropped over the last years on the different booking sites to 3.6 stars on average! This is something which needs to be improved immediately!

In the next step potential reasons have to be defined.

The team does not know why the ratings are dropping. They decide to go through the different reviews on the booking websites and summarize the findings to better understand the different reasons.

Another important step in the "plan" phase is to set an objective. They have to decide on what goal they want to reach and how they are going to measure this.

One of the team members notices that the rating of their hotel seems to be similar at the different booking sites. The team member proposes to take the most popular booking site The hotel manager agrees to make this the project KPI and set a target of 4.2 stars or more.

Finally, they decide that each team member examines the ratings of one booking site. the hotel manager will summarize the results and present them in the next meeting! 

One last step has to be taken before the team can move to the "Do" phase. The team has to define the actions that will be executed during the "do" phase.

The hotel manager has created a Pareto chart based on the findings of the team members. It seems that most people are complaining that the Wi-Fi reception is bad and that the rooms are outdated. The team believes that if they can solve these two problems they should be able to reach 4.2 stars.


The head of maintenance will be responsible for improving the Wi-Fi signal. He commits to look at what is needed to improve the Wi-Fi signal by the end of the week.

The head of the room division proposes to redecorate three rooms in different styles and see which one the guests like the most. In order to know which room the customers like most they decide to create a survey where the guests can give their feedback. the head of the sales and marketing department proposes to offer guests a free drink if they fill in the survey. In this way, they make certain that they will have a good response.

An action list is created that states who does what by when. The team comes together on a weekly basis to follow up on the actions. Once all actions are implemented the team can go to the "check" phase.


The hotel manager checks the results and sees that the rating is improved from 3.6 stars to 4.1 stars. This is a good process, but unfortunately, the goal of 4.2 stars is not yet met.

The head of the room division notices that in the collected surveys the guests liked concept 1, in general, the most. Except for the tv location. The tv location of concept 3 was the most popular one. She proposes to change the tv location of concept 1 to the tv location of concept 3. After this adjustment the rating increases from 4.1 to 4.3 stars. The goal is met!

finally, the team can move to the "act" phase!


In the act phase, new standards are made to secure the improvements. From these standards new PDCA cycles can be started.

The head of the room division documents how the new interior should look like so that it is for everyone clear how.  She trains all her staff on the new standard.

The head of maintenance decides to measure the WiFi strength on a regular basis to see if nothing has changed. He creates a measurement plan which fixed locations.

This article was updated on November 30, 2022