W. Edwards Deming is probably best known for his "14 Points for Management", the key actions management must take to ensure quality, productivity, and success. Among other things, this plan encourages leaders to stop doing business based on price alone, to constantly improve the production system, to utilize job training, and to encourage pride in workmanship. Deming also taught management leaders to encourage cooperation at all levels. In addition, he instructed them to assure job stability and to equally value all employees. He is credited for many other things like contributing largely to the "Japanese Industrial Miracle," whereby Japan not only recovered from the damages of World War II, but quickly came out ahead as a world economic leader. His educational background in Mathematics and Statistics led him to develop the probability notions that we are still influenced by today. Dr. Deming is well known for a wide variety of contributions to society and science, but this essay is going to focus on his management theory, specifically his “14 Points for Management” and his Theory of Profound Knowledge. Please note below a summary of his 14 points from his book Out of the Crisis: 1. Constancy of purpose
Deming suggested that a company's principal role was to stay in business, in order to provide jobs. It accomplishes this through innovation, research, constant improvement and self-maintenance. 2. Adopt the new philosophy
What Deming proposed was a new philosophy. We are in a new economic age, created in Japan, driven by computer speed and accuracy. We can no longer live with previously accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship. The pathway for change is a "learning organization" in which consistent defects, uncorrected errors and negativism are unacceptable. 3. Cease dependence on mass inspection.
Eliminate the need for mass inspection to achieve quality by building quality into the product in the first place. Instead, monitor consumer satisfaction.
4. End low bid contracts.
End the practice of awarding business solely on the basis of price. Instead require meaningful measures of quality along with price, and aim at reducing total cost by moving toward a single supplier for any one item, and by developing long term relationships of loyalty and trust. 5. Improve.
Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production, and service. Search continually for problems in order to improve every activity in the company, to improve quality and productivity, and thus to constantly decrease costs. Institute innovation and constant improvement of product, service, and process. 6. Institute training.
New skills are required to keep up with changes in materials, methods, product and service design, machinery, techniques, and service. Too often, workers have learned their job from other workers who were never trained, or were trained poorly. Employ good training, and retrain often. 7. Institute leadership.
The job of a supervisor is not to tell people what to do nor to punish them, but to help people to do a better job and to learn. Adopt and institute leadership aimed at helping people do their best. Improvement of quality will automatically improve productivity if immediate action is taken on reports of inherent defects, maintenance requirements, poor tools, fuzzy operational definitions, and all conditions detrimental to quality. 8. Drive out fear.
Many employees are afraid to ask questions or to take a position, even when they do not understand what their job is or what is right or wrong. They will continue to do things the wrong way, or not do them at all. It is necessary that people feel secure. Eliminate fear throughout the organization. "The only stupid question is the one that is not asked." 9. Break down barriers.
Break down barriers between departments and staff areas. Units that do not work as teams cannot foresee or address common...
References: Deming, W. E. (1993). The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education. Boston, MA: MIT Press.
Deming, W. E. (1986) Out of the Crisis. Boston, MA: MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study.
Magnier, M. (1999). The 50: People Who Most Influenced Business This Century. Los Angeles Times, Special Section, U-8.
Tortoella, M. J. (1995). The Three Careers of W. Edwards Deming. Siam News. Retrieved from www.deming.org.
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