Deming Philosophy

Topics: W. Edwards Deming, Management, PDCA Pages: 5 (1566 words) Published: August 26, 2013
In the 1970s, Deming's philosophy was summarized by some of his Japanese proponents with the following 'a'-versus-'b' comparison: (a) When people and organizations focus primarily on quality, defined by the following ratio, \text{Quality} = \frac{\text{Results of work efforts}}{\text{Total costs}} quality tends to increase and costs fall over time.

(b) However, when people and organizations focus primarily on costs, costs tend to rise and quality declines over time.

The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people. "Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to. The individual, once transformed, will: Set an example;

Be a good listener, but will not compromise;
Continually teach other people; and
Help people to pull away from their current practices and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the past." Deming advocated that all managers need to have what he called a System of Profound Knowledge, consisting of four parts: Appreciation of a system: understanding the overall processes involving suppliers, producers, and customers (or recipients) of goods and services (explained below); Knowledge of variation: the range and causes of variation in quality, and use of statistical sampling in measurements; Theory of knowledge: the concepts explaining knowledge and the limits of what can be known. Knowledge of psychology: concepts of human nature.

It is this steady state that determines the output of the system rather than the individual elements. Thus it is the structure of the organization rather than the employees, alone, which holds the key to improving the quality of output.

The Knowledge of variation involves understanding that everything measured consists of both "normal" variation due to the flexibility of the system and of "special causes" that create defects. Quality involves recognizing the difference to eliminate "special causes" while controlling normal variation. Deming taught that making changes in response to "normal" variation would only make the system perform worse. Understanding variation includes the mathematical certainty that variation will normally occur within six standard deviations of the mean.

Seven Deadly Diseases
The "Seven Deadly Diseases" include:
Lack of constancy of purpose
Emphasis on short-term profits
Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance Mobility of management
Running a company on visible figures alone
Excessive medical costs
Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees "A Lesser Category of Obstacles" includes
Neglecting long-range planning
Relying on technology to solve problems
Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions
Excuses, such as "our problems are different"
Obsolescence in school that management skill can be taught in classes[27] Reliance on quality control departments rather than management, supervisors, managers of purchasing, and production workers Placing blame on workforces who are only responsible for 15% of mistakes where the system designed by management is responsible for 85% of the unintended consequences Relying on quality inspection rather than improving product quality

"There is no substitute for knowledge."

"In God we trust; all others must bring data."

Experience by itself teaches nothing."[29] This statement emphasizes the need to interpret and apply information against a theory or framework of concepts that is the basis for knowledge about a system. It is considered as a...
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