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- Before Deming’s 14 Points for Management
(principles 16 to 21) The consumer is the most important point - Performance of a product is the result of interaction between three participants: (1) the product itself; (2) the user and how he uses the product; (3) instructions for use, training of customer; service provided for repair.
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- Standardization Doesn’t Stamp Out Creativity
Standardization (and reducing variation) are means to improve performance. They are not means to dehumanize the workforce. W. Edwards Deming presented a management system that emphasized the importance of joy in work and encouraged the creativity everyone brings to work. Thinking that creating standardized work processes to bring that about are about making everyone be the same is to completely miss what Deming proposed.
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- Ron Moen and Cliff Norman Discuss the Evolution of Deming’s Management Ideas
I share the believe about the management system expressed in the system of profound knowledge and the interaction of the components as the most powerful aspect of Deming’s message. It is hard to convey that idea easily.
Many other powerful messages Dr. Deming gave are also important, things like: control charts, the fallacy of blaming or rewarding individuals for system performance or variation, PDSA improvement cycle, respect for all employees, viewing the organization as a system, the importance of long term thinking with constancy of purpose, aspects of theory of knowledge (confirmation bias, seeing “patterns” where they don’t exist, accepting special cause explanations for system results…), customer focus, innovation, etc..
continue reading: Ron Moen and Cliff Norman Discuss the Evolution of Deming’s Management Ideas
- Deming’s Management Ideas Evolved Into the System of Profound Knowledge
W. Edwards Deming spent decades refining his thoughts on management and refining how to present those thoughts. That thinking culminated in what he call the System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK).
Over time his ideas remained grounded to what he expressed in the 1950’s. The expression of those ideas became richer and he raised the emphasis on understanding the critical interactions between the elements. He never saw the individual items (for example, individual points in the 14 points) as discrete items. They work together as a system. The SoPK provides a view that emphasizes the importance of the interdependence within the entire system of management.
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- SEC chief quotes Deming
Security and Exchange Chairman William H. Donaldson:
This approach will, ultimately, better serve investors, and it will also gradually temper the pressures on some corporate executives to fudge the numbers. It would behoove us all to remember the words of W. Edwards Deming: “People with targets, and jobs dependent on meeting them, will probably meet the targets – even if they have to destroy the enterprise to do it.”
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- W. Edwards Deming and the Leander Way
Often people will say Deming isn’t just the tools. That is certainly true. But using tools and data to make improvement efforts concrete is important.
As Deming said, best efforts are not enough, you have to know what to do. But he also said, “Best efforts are essential.” Tools are not enough: and like best efforts, using them without understanding the management system can do damage. But tools are also essential and Leander’s experience shows a long term effort to integrate quality improvement tools into the management system to achieve long term continual improvement.
continue reading: W. Edwards Deming and the Leander Way
- Institute Leadership
The aim of leadership should be to improve the performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to increase output, and simultaneously to bring pride of workmanship to people. Put in a negative way, the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.
W. Edwards Deming
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- Bill Scherkenbach Interview with Dr. Deming
This video also provides a view of W. Edwards Deming's personality. He repeatedly expresses the importance of changing the management of our organizations to let those doing the work use their brains, which far too often American management represses due to heirarchacal management systems.
continue reading: Bill Scherkenbach Interview with Dr. Deming
- Product and Service Innovation is Driven by Customer Focused Organizations
- Statistical Techniques Allow Management to do a Better Job
For all four groups of people [management, statistical administration, research, front-line workers], the statistical method is more than an array of techniques. It is a mode of thought-sharpened thinking. It helps anyone in the four groups, be he a machine operator or an executive, to make better decisions, and to do his work better, than he could do otherwise.
--- W. Edwards Deming
Those who continue to thinkW. Edwards Deming was focused on the factory floor alone have missed most of what he proposed. Improving the decision making at the executive level was always Deming’s focus. Continual improvement should be a part of everyone’s job but as executives have more authority the impact of improving their performance multiplies, or stifles, the impact of improvement anywhere else in the organization.
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- W. Edwards Deming Discussing the Leadership We Need in Our Organizations
He mentions that walking around can be useful but it isn’t effective. Without the proper focus you only see a glossy picture. Going to where the work is done is important. But as with most management practices it must be done within a proper context and sadly it is often done in a superficial way. I discussed these ideas in my blog post, Management by Walking Around...
continue reading: W. Edwards Deming Discussing the Leadership We Need in Our Organizations
- Looking Back at "Some Notes on Management in a Hospital" by W. Edwards Deming
The head nurse returned to say that the nurse that was to give the infusion had recorded the infusion as given. It is possible that she recorded it in advance, with the intention to give it, and did not correct the record. Is this the regular procedure, to record intentions? Who would know? An unsuspecting physician, looking at the record for his patient, would assume that the infusion had been given, and could draw wrong inferences about how the patient had been doing on the drug. In my case, as it turned out, no harm. But how would he know? A nurse, or a physician, has a right to suppose that the medication was delivered as ordered and as recorded.
What is the purpose of the record? To inform the physician about intentions, or to tell him what happened?
It is even more difficult than usual to avoid blaming people when you are being forced to suffer. But even in this situation Dr. Deming understood the problems were a natural result of poor processes not of failures by individuals to do their best.
continue reading: Looking Back at "Some Notes on Management in a Hospital" by W. Edwards Deming
- Improving the System to Reduce Costs Isn’t The Same as Cost Cutting
Cutting costs by fiat via executive orders reduces the capability of the organization. Those costs are often born by customers. In the short term reducing costs in such a manner improves the financial statements. In the long run those cost reductions harm the companies ability to innovate, improve and delight customers.
If instead we create a continual improvement capability and culture in the organization we will make improvements that in turn reduce costs (the Deming chain reaction).
continue reading: Improving the System to Reduce Costs Isn’t The Same as Cost Cutting
- Using Deming’s Ideas When Your Organization Doesn’t
First, you can transform yourself. You can transform your understanding and how you learn (with an appreciation for the theory of knowledge and what conclusions you can and cannot draw from the data you use). You can transform how you act.
View your organization with an understanding of Deming’s management ideas. Think of the organization as a system. Even if you can’t persuade others to do this, you doing so will help you understand the situation more clearly and allow you to think of solutions that take advantage of this understanding. System thinking will allow you to find leverage points that can be used to multiply the benefits of improvements.
continue reading: Using Deming’s Ideas When Your Organization Doesn’t
- Deadly Disease of Management: Emphasis on Short-term Profits