THE W. EDWARDS DEMING INSTITUTE BLOG

Create Your Own On-Demand Management Conference

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. The Covid-19 crisis has created many challenges to standard ways of working. Attending conferences provides a useful way to learn and improve your management understanding. Given the challenges of 2020, I would like to remind you that we make many of our past …

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Who’s Got Profound Knowledge?

Professor Doug Stilwell of Drake University discusses Dr. Deming’s System of Profound knowledge and its potential to transform our educational system.

Seeking Systemic Improvements: Root Cause

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. The idea of looking beyond the most visible problem when seeking to improve is important. If you just address the most visible issue, you often fail to improve the system and instead just add some work to smooth things over if that problem …

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The Democratic Corporation

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. This video shows part 4 of a Russell Ackoff presentation from 2003 on Systems Thinking and Management. In this part of the presentation, Ackoff discusses the difference between authority and influence. In complex organizations, trying to rule by authority is difficult and ineffective. …

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Deming Company was Ahead of COVID-19

Eight years before COVID-19 hit, Peaker Services had a Pandemic Preparedness Plan in place.

Focus on Addressing the Right Problem

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of the CuriousCat.com. Have you ever tried running through water?  You don’t get very far very fast.  If you have water up to your waist, and you try to run, your progress is very slow.  Sure, you could put in more effort and maybe try to improve your technique …

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Restoring Joy in Mudville

Professor Doug Stilwell of Drake University examines the connection between intrinsic motivation and joy in learning and how the systemic structures in our educational system can hinder it.

Avoid Doing the Wrong things Righter… But, “By What Method?”

Doug Stilwell shares insights into how you can make the "right" decisions for your organization.

Mary Jenkins: Statistical Approach to HR Systems

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. Mary Jenkins gave this presentation on Statistical Approach to HR Systems at the Ohio Quality and Productivity Forum in 1992. In the presentation, Mary provides a view of the organization as a system and the existing and possible systems to manage personnel. She …

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image of quote by Dr. Deming: People are entitled to joy in work.

Deming on Management: Joy in Work

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). This is the seventh post in our Deming on Management series. This series provides resources for those interested in learning more about particular topics related to W. Edwards Deming’s ideas. View our previous Deming on Management posts, including: Leadership, Appreciation …

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Russell Ackoff on Learning, Risks and Development

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. This video shows part 3 of a Russell Ackoff presentation from 2003 on Systems Thinking and Management (see our previous post on part 1 and part 2). An organization that wants to survive in a dynamic environment has to continually educate its members …

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How Do I Apply New Management Ideas Without Executive Level Support?

Part 3 of "True Improvement vs Illusion of Progress," a presentation by Peter Scholtes.

Make Time to Improve

Are you responsible for how a part of your organization prioritizes what must be done? If so, you must find a way to devote time to improvement.

Exploring a World View Through the Lens of Profound Knowledge

Barbara Lawton explains the value and necessity of using the System of Profound Knowledge to improve; and the importance of making it accessible.

India Fights COVID-19 with Control Charts

According to how the data are being reported, it seems like the pandemic is getting worse in India, despite the lockdown. Balaji S Reddie, founder of The Deming Forum India and a member of our Advisory Council, is using control charts to set the record straight.
image of Deming quote: A leader is a coach not a judge

Dr. Deming on Leadership

"For Deming, instituting leadership meant creating management systems that allowed people to take pride in their work and that were consistent with the principles he expressed (understanding the organization as a system, understanding variation, etc.)."

“We Thinking” in India, Mexico, UK, and US

#OutOfTheCrisis: Our weekly roundup of stories of hope, inspiration, and genuine collaboration in the time of COVID-19.

Presentation by Ackoff on Systems, Design and the Society

This video shows part 2 of a Russell Ackoff presentation from 2003 (see our previous post on part 1: Ackoff on Systems Thinking and Management).

Systemically Non-Systemic: COVID-19 through the Deming Lens

Professor Doug Stilwell of Drake University takes a look at what we can learn from - and how we might address - the COVID-19 crisis using the Deming Philosophy.

Out Of The Crisis: The Deming Institute’s Response to COVID-19

First and foremost, we want to express our deepest sympathy to the people and families whose health and wellbeing have been impacted by the pandemic. We also want to thank those of you on the front lines – the healthcare workers, pharmacy staff, grocery clerks, truck drivers, government workers, and other unsung heroes who are …

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2019 ASA Deming Lecture, Walking with Giants: A Research Odyssey

Nicholas Fisher, University of Sydney, presents the 2019 ASA Deming Lecture - Walking with Giants: A Research Odyssey

Deming Online Sneak Peek!

Are you ready for Deming Online? Take a sneak peek at this interactive learning portal to be launched later this year!
image with quote "pay is not a motivator"

Demonstrating Respect for People With High Minimum Salaries

Five years ago, a CEO made the bold decision to introduce a $70,000 minimum salary for all of his 120 staff. What happened next is classic Deming.

The “String” Theory of Systems Management in Schools

Does your organization need "re-tuning"? Drs. Doug Stilwell and Randy Peters of Drake University discuss the pitfalls of both over- and under-managing.

Standardize Improvements to Achieve Results

Part 2 of True Improvement vs Illusion of Progress, a presentation by Peter Scholtes.

Leading From the Top (Part II) – Transforming Our Thinking

"We’re living in prison, under the tyranny of the prevailing style of management, a style of interaction between people, between teams, between divisions, between competitors. We need to throw overboard our theories and practices of the present, and build afresh." - W. Edwards Deming

Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos

Are you struggling with what data to collect and how to use them to better lead your organization? Dr. Donald J. Wheeler to the rescue in his short and easy read, Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos.

The Most Viewed Videos on Our YouTube Channel

What was your Deming community paying attention to this past decade? Find out what our most-watched videos were, and discover some gems you may have missed!

Leading from the Top (Part I) – Transformation of the Leader

Dr. Deming said, "Quality is determined by the top management. It cannot be delegated." This humorous tale from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan illustrates this concept beautifully.

Season of Generosity: More Deming Gifts for You!

THANK YOU! During the Season of Generosity, we came together, as Deming people, to ensure that we can continue to carry on his work and teachings.

Deming on Management: Education

How does the Deming approach apply to education? John Hunter provides dozens of online resources to assist you in your quest to improve teaching and learning through Deming.

The Most Popular Posts on Our Blog in 2019

Which Deming blog posts did you find to be most helpful or compelling in the past year?

Meet One of Our Non-Profit Partners

"Our revenue has grown by 60%... and an exciting result of the Deming approach is we were able to deliver that growth with significantly less time from our staff." - Stacy Sheldon, Aileron
image with text: "A bad system will beat a good person every time" W. Edwards Deming

Deming on Management: Appreciation for a System

The fourth post in our "Deming on Management" series, dive deeply into a wealth of resources on Appreciation for a System - one of the four aspects of Deming's System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK).

A Deming Gift for You this Giving Tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday! And we’d like to celebrate with you, since generosity is at the heart of the Deming Philosophy. As a Deming person, you are generous with your time and expertise; many of you have contributed to this blog, offered valuable comments and insight, and shared posts with others in order to spread the …

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National and International Forum for Health Quality 2019

Executive Director Kevin Cahill will speak at the National and International Forum for Health Quality in Mexico City this week. The Mexican Ministry of Health hosts this annual event, with an attendance of over 2000 healthcare professionals.

2019 Deming Prize Winners

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has announced the 2019 Deming Prize winners. Indian companies received 4 of the 5 awards.

Life Lessons from Russell Ackoff

Advisory Council Member Bill Bellows shares an as-yet unheard anecdote on siloed decision making from visionary Russ Ackoff.

True Improvement vs Illusion of Progress

What are five ingredients of true improvement? Peter Scholtes gives us answers as well as a 7-step model for improvement in this timeless presentation.

Connect with Your Deming Community on LinkedIn

Access the most exciting and relevant events and news happening in the broader Deming community.

Improving the Wood River Women’s Foundation Using Deming’s Ideas

Hear how learning about Deming through our in-person workshops made a huge impact on Wood River Women’s Foundation, in this video interview from our learning event partner Aileron.

The Gift of Dr. Deming

Today, on Dr. Deming’s Birthday, we honor him and celebrate his gifts to each of us.

Customer Satisfaction and The Deming Way at Gallery Furniture

"Let's fix the problem, not fix the employee." The passion Jim McIngvale ("Mattress Mack") of Gallery Furniture has for customers - and the Deming approach - comes through in this short but powerful interview with QualityMatters.

Reflections on the Fabric of the Toyota Production System

Are you managing the parts of your company, or the way the parts interact with each other? We look to Toyota Motor Corporation for insight.
image of quote by Dr. Deming "Best efforts are essential. Unfortunately, best efforts, people charging this way and that way without guidance of principles, can do a lot of damage."

Purpose: To Benefit All Stakeholders

Business Roundtable puts the many before the few.

Ackoff on Systems Thinking and Management

Are you using analysis to solve problems at your company? Try synthesis instead! For help, John Hunter directs us to this still-mind-blowing talk from Dr. Russell Ackoff, author of The Art of Problem Solving.

Deming Goes Hollywood

What is Deming Online? Watch this video update from Kevin Edwards Cahill, Executive Director of The Deming Institute.

Deming’s Ideas in Action: Trader Joe’s Culture

Is Trader Joe's "doing Deming"? Explore what this iconic company says about its values - and how they put those words into practice.

Deming on Management: The Red Bead Experiment

Dive deep into Deming's iconic Red Bead Experiment through a wealth of videos and resources.

What is Deming Online?

Not only will Deming preserve the integrity of Dr. Deming’s teachings in a modern format, but it will also blend videos, eLearning courses, and virtual coaching, and tie into our future workshops and seminars.

Alan Winlow, MBE, Honored with 2019 Deming Medal

Congratulations to Alan Winlow, MBE, who was recently honored with the 2019 Deming Medal from ASQ.

The Deming Philosophy: New Ways To Think About The World

A fresh look at Mike Tveite's presentation, “The Deming Philosophy: New Ways To Think About The World."

The Deming Institute is Developing an Online Learning Platform

Deming Online will be a community learning center that blends videos, e-learning courses, and webinars.

Deming on Management: Psychology

Psychology is one of the 4 components of SoPK. But what Deming meant by "Psychology" isn't the same thing as what's covered in a psyche 101 course.

Welcome Colin Cahill, Our New Intern!

Please help us welcome Colin Cahill, Dr. Deming’s great-grandson, to The Deming Institute.

Human Resources in the Post Deming Era

This presentation from Peter Scholtes and Mary Jenkins at the 1994 Ohio Quality and Productivity Forum conference is still all too relevant to today's challenges in Human Resources.

Dr. Bill Bellows Moves to Advisory Council

Dr. Bill Bellows' passionate commitment to the Deming Philosophy and The Deming Institute will continue as a member of our Advisory Council.

Fond Farewells: Remembering Bill Latzko, Tom Nolan, and Bill Ratcliff

Please join us in honoring the lives of these three men, who made countless contributions to the Deming community and society at large.

Deming on Management: PDSA Cycle

Interested in understanding the PDSA (Plan - Do - Study - Act) cycle? Here are a whole bunch of resources for you.

Leading The Transformation Process

Barbara Lawton's presentation explores the interaction between personal transformation and organizational transformation.

Blogs Exploring Deming’s Thoughts on Management

Need more Deming? There are several blogs exploring the application of his ideas to management of organizations.

Thinking and Learning Together at the 3rd Annual Bryce Canyon Society Forum, April 3, 2019

Katie Groves, College Business Manager, reflects on this gathering of Deming experts, enthusiasts, and the Deming-curious.

A Practical Approach to Change: Some Strategies and Tools by Peter Scholtes

In this presentation, Peter Scholtes gives an entertaining and useful look at the types of personal attitudes toward change.

Leading with a Systems View: Deming Management Method for Owners and Executives | 2.5-Day Seminar

Next week's Deming seminar explores simple and powerful principles to improve your organization.

Peter Senge on the Creation of a Post-Industrial Theory and Practice of Education

Peter Senge reflects on efforts to transform education systems across the United States.

Mike Tveite on The Role of Learning in Improving Organizations

Mike Tveite discusses the importance of adopting Deming's System of Profound Knowledge in the work of executives and the larger systems within organizations.

3rd Edition of The New Economics Has Been Released

The new edition of The New Economics includes an introduction by Kevin Edwards Cahill and a new chapter by Kelly Allan.

Peter Scholtes – Leading Quality: Some Practical Approaches to the Managers New Job

Peter Scholtes explores myths about the practice of quality management, the importance of viewing the organization as a system, and using the new lens to inform your leadership.

New York Label & Box: A Deming-Inspired Company

NYLB is putting Deming's ideas into action, to great success.

Continuous vs. Continual Improvement: An Ongoing Conversation with Ed Baker

Bill Bellows highlights ongoing conversations with Ed Baker, author of The Symphony of Profound Knowledge (created in partnership with Aileron.org).

Why Deming? Why Now? Why…India?

The founder of The Deming Forum India advocates convincingly for the need to take a Deming approach to improvement country-wide.

Impact of Process Tampering on Variation (Experiment)

What do engineering students learn about variation when they launch a catapult with three different sets of instructions?

What is a system?

"Humans create systems all the time...How well any of these systems function, how effective and efficient they are, often comes down to how well the parts cooperate to support the aim."

The Most Popular Posts on The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Blog in 2018

Past posts include many thoughts that age well. Here are the 20 most popular post on our blog this year.

Dr. Deming’s work lauded by world famous philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre

One of the most pre-eminent philosophers in the world, Alasdair MacIntyre cites Deming at length in his 2016 book, Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity.

Break the Cycle

Bill Bellows discusses using the Deming approach to turn things around - whether prompted by a crisis or an essential effort in an organization’s continued success.

Rethinking Statistics for Quality Control with George Box

George Box shared a presentation on Rethinking Statistics for Quality Control at our 2008 Deming Institute Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Ethics of Quality

Dennis Sergent explores the strong correlation between quality and ethics.

Customer Satisfaction is Not Enough

To succeed over the long term, organizations must seek not to satisfy customers but to delight them.

What we see…

Bill Bellows talks about lean management within the (oft-overlooked) larger context of the Deming Philosophy.

Change Management – Post Change Evaluation and Action

Change is difficult in most organizations. Most often the process should start by using the PDSA cycle.

Why Deming / Why Now / Working to transform “our” system

"Learning is essential for our survival as a society." - Dennis Sergent shares his Deming journey.

Four-Day Seminar with Dr. Deming Videos

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). The W. Edwards Deming Institute provides online access to a recording, from 1992, of Dr. Deming’s Four-Day Seminar. There is a cost for viewing these videos; remember we do make many videos available online for no charge including: If Japan …

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In Search of Excellence

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute “A product or service possesses quality if it helps someone and enjoys a sustainable market.” W. Edwards Deming  “Quality is defined by doing it right the first time.” Phillip Crosby “There is not a day I don’t think about what Dr. Deming meant to us. Deming is …

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Restoring Joy and Meaning to Learning

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability David Langford has taken his experience with applying Deming’s ideas to education to his position as the Superintendent of Ingenium schools in Los Angeles, California. The focus of Ingenium is “restoring joy and meaning to learning.” David talks about how Ingenium schools are …

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2018 Deming Prize Winners

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has announced the 2018 Deming Prize winners. Nine companies were awarded the Deming Prize this year (last year 2 companies received the award): Aiphone Co., Ltd. (Japan) Indus Towers Limited (India) OTICS Corporation (Japan) Ocean’s King Lighting Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (China) PT Komatsu Indonesia (Indonesia) …

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Why Deming / Why Now

"Now, more than ever, organizations possess limitless opportunities to improve how they manage resources within a system." - Bill Bellows

Two Tweets & A Blog

Guest blog by Bob Browne, author of Sys-Tao – Western Logic and Eastern Flow and former Chairman and CEO of the Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company Tweet One The question, “If Japan can, why can’t we?” conjures up the works of W. Edwards Deming. It also begs another question, “If the Japanese so easily understood …

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ASA Deming Lecture by Brent James: Long Term View of the Healthcare System

Guest post by John Hunter, who founded curiouscat.com in 1996. 2010 ASA Deming Lecture – “Dr. Deming Consults on Quality for Sir William Osler” by Brent James, Institute for Health Care Delivery Research. Brent James has worked at Intermountain Healthcare for several decades. I wrote a previous post on this blog about a paper he …

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The best and the brightest

We hear a lot of talk about companies wanting to hire the best and the brightest. But is that a great long-term strategy? Is there something better?

25th Annual Deming Institute Conference: Oct 5-6, 2018

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. In this interview with Quality Digest, Kelly Allan discusses the Deming philosophy and the 25th annual Deming Institute conference which will be held Oct 5-6, 2018 in Manhattan Beach, California. Related: Deming 101, Kelly Allan’s Presentation at Our 2014 Annual Conference – …

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Restaurant Week (An elementary look at quality culture fundamentals)

Industry can help provide the solution for our educational problems. But ultimately, education will provide the solution for our industry problems.

Iterative Customer Focus

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. On Statistical Techniques in Industry as a Natural Resource by W. Edwards Deming (1952) In the new way, management introduces, through consumer research, a 4th step, and runs through the 4 steps is a cycle, over and over … New Way Design the …

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How Sawtooth Botanical Garden is Transforming Thanks to Deming

In this video interview with Aileron, Kat Vanden Heuvel, Executive Director at Sawtooth Botanical Garden, shares how Deming principles have changed the way people think and work at her nonprofit organization.

Profound Knowledge from a Knowledge Use Perspective

ASA Deming Lecture: "Profound Knowledge from a Knowledge Use Perspective," Vincent P. Barabba, Market Insight Corporation

The Neuroscience of Deming by JW Wilson

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. This webcast shows JW Wilson’s presentation, The Neuroscience of Deming, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. In a previous post I wrote about this presentation which included a couple clips from the presentation. Now we have the full presentation on our YouTube channel: …

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Book Review – The Mind at Work: Valuing the intelligence of the American Worker

Guest post by Michael Godfried: planner and policy analyst in Washington State and Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute Mike Rose is a wonderful writer with a host of books to his name. The Mind at Work: Valuing the intelligence of the American Worker (2004) looks at the mental dimension of work that is often dismissed …

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What Loss Will a Business Suffer Due to a Dissatisfied Customer?

Guest post by John Hunter, who founded curiouscat.com in 1996. You can’t know how much a dissatisfied customer will cost your business in the long run. You can make statistical judgements about how costly dissatisfied customers are to a business but those are loaded with many guesses. They can give a general indication of the …

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My quest for understanding

Why is it so hard to get the Deming approach to "stick" at organizations?Keith Sparkjoy's answer may surprise you.

Book Review – The Tyranny of Metrics

Guest post by Michael Godfried: planner and policy analyst in Washington State and Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute Jerry Z. Muller’s The Tyranny of Metrics (2018) is a book that I believe Dr. Deming would have surely appreciated. This well-researched book gives an ever timely overview of the history and drivers behind the misuse of metrics …

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Deming 101: Goals, Aims, and Analytics, by Mike Tveite

In this 2012 webcast by Mike Tveite, learn the difference between an aim and a goal, and how the goal often gets in the way of the aim.

Understanding Variation and Appreciating Variety

By John Hunter and Bill Bellows. Beginning in 1951, the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has awarded the Deming Prize to honor organizations, and later, individuals, for extraordinary accomplishments in quality management. Recipients receive a prestigious medal, complete with an image of Dr. Deming, with his quotation, “The right quality and uniformity are foundations …

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Comparing Lean Thinking and Dr. Deming’s Management Ideas

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. This webcast shows Sarah Pavelka’s presentation, Deming and Lean: The Disparities and Similarities, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. Sarah co-authored Tool Time for Lean with David Langford. In a previous post I wrote about this presentation which included a few selected clips …

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Reliability: Another Dimension of Quality

Guest post by John Hunter, who founded curiouscat.com in 1996. 2015 ASA Deming Lecture by William Meeker – Reliability: The Other Dimension of Quality: William Meeker begins the presentations discussing his experience with W. Edwards Deming in relation to a paper by Meeker and Gerald Hahn. The core issue related to the issues around problems …

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When Deming Goes to School

David Langford explains how "When Deming Goes to School, Learning Takes a Front Seat" at The Deming Institute's 2012 annual conference,

Aim as a System

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. TJ Gokcen,CEO of Acquate, shared a presentation at our 2015 International Deming Research Seminar on Aim as a System. In the presentation TJ says that one of management’s responsibilities is to coordinate communication between the interconnected components of a system. Ensuring that feedback …

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Empowering Students to Lead Change by Christine Simpson and Sarah Ambrus

Guest post by John Hunter, who founded curiouscat.com in 1996. The video shows the presentation by Christine Simpson and Sarah Ambrus at the 2015 Deming research seminar: Empowering Students to Lead Change. They gave a similar, and a bit longer, presentation at the 2015 Deming in Education conference on Student Led Change. Quoting a student: …

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Ron Moen’s Presentation: Prediction is the Problem

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. The video shows the presentation by Ron Moen, Prediction is the Problem, at our 2012 annual conference. A previous post on our blog in 2013 included a clip from this talk and explored Ron’s thoughts which might be of interest if you …

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2017 ASA Deming Lecture, W. Edwards Deming – A Kaizen Statistician

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. 2017 ASA Deming Lecture, W. Edwards Deming – A Kaizen Statistician, by Fritz Scheuren, NORC-University of Chicago. In his presentation, Fritz provides a personal view of W. Edwards Deming the man and Deming’s ideas. That’s the way people understood Deming. As a critic, …

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Do You See What I See – Bill Bellows

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Bill Bellows’ presentation, Do You See What I See, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. Bill is now the Deputy Director of The W. Edwards Deming Institute®. I previously posted on a snippet from this presentation: How Did We Do on the Test?. As long as we …

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Recommended aim, with examples

Guest post by Keith Sparkjoy, Vice President of the Sparkjoy Foundation* Of all of Deming’s work, the bit with the most potential impact is also the bit that Deming kept close to his vest – because it doesn’t advocate company growth as an aim, and his clients would not have understood. There is a paragraph from …

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Applying Deming’s Management Ideas at the Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Bob Browne’s presentation, Profound Knowledge of the Real Thing, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. Bob is the former CEO of the Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company. Among other things, this presentation is a good option for those seeking an example that provides historical business results …

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Encouraging Organizational Learning

Guest post by Lori Fry, Principal with Navigator Management Partners, originally featured as a post at https://dignityatworkproject.com/.    Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Lori. Writer’s block – the struggle is REAL.  People who know me will insist that I’m rarely at a loss for words – so what gives?  Thankfully, I had a …

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The Most Popular Videos on Our YouTube Channel in 2017

Guest post by John Hunter. Here are the most popular videos on The W. Edwards Deming Institute You Tube channel in the last year. Those with W. Edwards Deming in them are the most popular. The videos with the most views in the last year: W. Edwards Deming: The 14 Points: 46,000 views in 2017 (added …

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Transformation of the Individual and the Organization

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows David Langford’s presentation, When Grading Bites the Dust, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. A previous post (Change has to Start from the Top) includes a clip from another talk he gave at the 2012 conference and it is a valuable companion to the video included here. …

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Learning to Discern – Quality & Quantity

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute “The basic problem anywhere is quality.   What is quality?   A product or a service possesses quality if it helps somebody and enjoys a good and sustainable market.” W. Edwards Deming When our daughter, Allison, was about 3 years old, she joined me for a quick ride to the …

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Profits, Pragmatism, and the Possibilities of Possessing “Other Eyes”

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. There is little evidence that we give a hoot about profit. W. Edwards Deming On July 22, 2014, Apple announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter, reporting a revenue of $37.4 billion and a quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion.   From sales of iPhones to iPads …

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Applying Quality as a Business Strategy at Hallmark Building Supplies

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Louie Paynter’s presentation, Hallmark Building Supplies’ Approach to Applying Quality as a Business Strategy, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. I have written about this presentation in 2013 with a few selected clips from the presentation. Now we have added the full presentation to our YouTube channel: …

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Instant Karma! and Instant Pudding!

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute The first step is transformation of the individual.  The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people. W. Edwards Deming In January 1970, John Lennon returned to the UK from a holiday in Denmark, inspired by a series …

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Transformation Paradox

This guest post is an excerpt from Ed Baker’s book (pages 31-32), The Symphony of Profound Knowledge, which was created in partnership with Aileron.org. Managers in business, school administrators, and teachers may believe that they have to grade, rate, and rank, to manage by numbers and use other traditional methods because these are necessary to do their …

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Tom Rudmik: Thriving in the World of Massive Change

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Tom Rudmik’s presentation, Thriving in the World of Massive Change, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. Tom is CEO of Master’s Academy and College. This is an interesting presentation that includes a look at an array of current scientific breakthroughs. The early part is reminiscent to talks …

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Utopia: Next Stop or Last Stop?

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. Sir Thomas More was not the first person, nor the last, to disagree with King Henry VIII. His last serious conflict, refusing to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn as the Queen of England in 1533, was interpreted as a snub against Anne. From this episode, More’s …

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More reflections on additivity, including hole reinforcement circles and golf balls

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. “The efforts of the various divisions in a company, each given a job, are not additive.   Their efforts are interdependent.” W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics In a continuation from a previous blog on what to think when things do not add up…, consider the machinist whose …

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Command-and-Control Management Style delivers the wrong message

Guest post by Lori Fry, Principal with Navigator Management Partners, originally featured as a post at https://dignityatworkproject.com/    Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Lori. My son, Ben, was written up at work for calling off so he could evacuate Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma’s landfall.  You can read about it in The Washington …

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Fixing Education: A Model That Works, by Bette Moen

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Bette Moen’s presentation, Fixing Education: A Model That Works, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. Bette is the founder and director of Cedar Crest Academy. Cedar Crest pays close personal attention to each student and adjusts the system to their needs and strengths. The system is adapted …

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What to think when things do not add up…

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. “The efforts of the various divisions in a company, each given a job, are not additive.   Their efforts are interdependent.” W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics In the summer of 2005, I spoke at a conference which featured Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, as …

What to think when things do not add up… Read More »

Standardization With a Systems View Allows Creativity to Flourish

Guest post by John Hunter. We all benefit from standardization every day. We can plug our devices into a wall outlet and power them. We can get a replacement battery and have it work as expected. We can type on the keyboard without thinking because the keys are the same on each keyboard. We can …

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Management is Prediction

This guest post is an excerpt from Ed Baker’s book (pages 47-48), The Symphony of Profound Knowledge, which was created in partnership with Aileron.org.   Find a recent interview with Ed on the topic of this blog post at this link. Deming’s criterion of knowledge is whether it helps us to predict and not whether we discover truth, …

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Drawing Lines

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute “The boundary of the system to be described…may be drawn around a single company or, around an industry, or as in Japan in 1950, the whole country.  The bigger be the coverage, the bigger be the possible benefits, plus the more difficult to manage.  The aim must include …

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The Landry Principle

Guest post by Doug Stilwell, Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at Drake University, originally featured as a post at https://sites.google.com/site/dcintrial2/.    Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Doug. Landry I am the proud owner/friend of a one year old 75 pound golden retriever named Landry, affectionately named after the former and well-respected coach …

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The System of Profound Knowledge Applied to Sales and Marketing

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Steve Haedrich’s presentation, The System of Profound Knowledge Applied to Sales and Marketing, at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar. Steve is the President of New York Label & Box Works. Steve discussed the importance of understanding the strengths of your organization and remembering that more sales is …

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“Nailed it.” A lesson in overcoming project complexity

Guest post by Lori Fry, Principal with Navigator Management Partners, originally featured as a post at https://dignityatworkproject.com/    Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Lori. When your project shows signs of trouble, go basic first. It was Benjamin Franklin and not 70’s musician Todd Rundgren who first admonished us to pay attention to the …

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Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. Long before Adele and Lady Gaga spoke their first words, The Beatles and The Beach Boys were music industry leaders in the US and UK, as well as worldwide airwave competitors. While neither group may have heard of Alfred Politz, a pioneer in the field of market research, …

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Tis the season….for performance appraisals

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. Some years ago, I read an article on performance appraisals and was inspired to contact the columnist in response to their invitation for feedback.    While I did not receive a reply, here is my feedback, which may inspire others to seize a moment in the coming months …

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The Transformation from School Based Learning to Lifelong Learning

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Bjarne Wig’s presentation, The Transformation of Learning, at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar. See Bjarne’s research paper that forms the basis of the talk: The Transformation of Learning at the Work Place. Educational institutions are becoming dinosaurs with regard to the need for continuous learning. The entire …

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Deming’s Principles of Professional Practice

This guest post is an excerpt from Ed Baker’s book (pages 104-105), The Symphony of Profound Knowledge, which was created in partnership with Aileron.org. The distinction between the meanings of the words ethical and moral is not always clear, and often they are used interchangeably as synonyms. Ethics has been used to refer to a system of …

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Book Review – Profit Beyond Measure

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute H. Thomas (“Tom”) Johnson stands at the forefront of a world-wide community of business thinkers who are unveiling the limitations, as well as assumptions, of the old economics that underlie the mechanistic decision making and planning practices of corporations and organizations. Upon co-authoring his 2001 book, Profit Beyond …

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Understanding and Misunderstanding Variation

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Mike Stoecklein’s presentation, Understanding and Misunderstanding Variation in Healthcare, at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar. The companion research paper that Mike wrote, Understanding and Misunderstanding Variation in Healthcare is packed with additional information on the topics he discusses and includes a summary of interviews with 40 individuals …

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Post-Harvey Restoration: Consider a Deming-Based Approach

Guest post by Lori Fry, Principal with Navigator Management Partners, originally featured as a post at https://dignityatworkproject.com/    Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Lori. The effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will be felt for years. AccuWeather has reported the cost of recovery efforts will exceed $290 billion. That’s BILLION. With …

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Management by Extremes

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. In the spirit of standardization that is growing in popularity in organizations around the world, is there room for diversity?   That is, is variety really the spice of life, or does it represent a non-value added effort, if not simply waste?    In other words, should variation always be …

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Are you a systems thinker?

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. A few decades before The Big Bang Theory introduced television audiences to fictional theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, with guest appearances by Stephen Hawking, astronomer Carl Sagan was one of the most well-known non-fictional US physicists.   Amongst Sagan’s research interests was the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, including the odds …

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The Funnel Experiment with Brian Hwarng

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Brian Hwarng’s presentation, The Funnel Experiment, at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar. As Brian says: The purpose [of the funnel experiment] is to demonstrate, by theory, the losses that are caused by tampering. Chapter 9 (“The Funnel”) of The New Economics is a good source to learn …

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The Transformed Map of a Recovering Management Accountant

This guest post is an excerpt from Ed Baker’s book (pages 140-141), The Symphony of Profound Knowledge, which was created in partnership with Aileron.org. Dr. Tom Johnson, an economist and self-described “recovering management accountant,” is well known for his early contributions to the traditional accounting profession. His books Relevance Lost, coauthored with Robert S. Kaplan, and Relevance …

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Selling Horses and Seeing Systems

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. Midway through graduate school, while employed through the summer months in an engineering position, I joined fellow interns in an after-hours outing at a local pub.   With our internships coming to an end, we invited our department manager to join us.   Unlike the technical questions we answered all …

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Book Review – Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. Once upon a time, well before his name entered lean folklore, Taiichi Ohno graduated from industrial school and earned a position with Toyoda Spinning & Weaving as a supervisor. The year was 1933 and Ohno soon became well known for his mustache, added to further his image of …

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Collaborating to Improve Government Performance

Guest post by John Hunter. This webcast shows Phil Landesberg’s presentation, Collaborating to Improve Government Performance, at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar. I have known Phil for many years having served with him on the board of the Washington DC Deming User’s group. I also worked at the Office of Secretary of Defense Quality Management …

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Manage Costs, Variation, and Waste – Mind the Choices

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. As noted in my June 26th post, “It Depends…”, when asked in February 1990 about the trend towards reducing the number of levels of management in organizations, Dr. Deming answered, in his usual Socratic fashion: “Why have more levels than you need?” Now, consider what Socratic questions might …

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The price of dignity at work: one company says $20

Guest post by Lori Fry, Principal with Navigator Management Partners, originally featured as a post at https://dignityatworkproject.com/.    Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Lori. Monitoring employees’ time in the restroom is not okay. If you believe monitoring employees’ time in the restroom will materially improve your company’s bottom line, refer to …

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Transforming Jet-Hot by Viewing the Organization as a System

Guest post by John Hunter. Jet-Hot‘s story provides an example of applying Deming’s work to transform a real enterprise. Gordon McGilton and Dennis Sergent share evidence from their experience that will help others transform their enterprises by focusing on their system and aim. Jet-Hot was undergoing bankruptcy, with all the problems that entails. They used …

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Haircuts and Continuous Improvement

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. On a summer weekend in 1997, I visited my office for a short time before heading home after a few errands near work.   At the time, I was a member of the company’s Continuous Improvement Team, a later version of a Total Quality Management Office.  Upon dropping in, …

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Anyone Can Cut Costs, Look Good and Go Out of Business

Guest post by Edward Martin Baker.   A version of this post originally appeared on Aileron.org. Years ago, a “friend” who thought he was a mechanic, as did I, offered to improve my car’s performance. He removed parts of the engine, fiddled around with them, and reassembled them. When he finished, I saw some of the …

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Mind the Choice: Continuous Improvement or Continuous Problem Solving

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. Sparky Anderson, manager of the Cincinnati Reds during most of the 1970s, spoke on occasion about the big problem he had with his Major League Baseball team.   He claimed that the Reds, also known at the time as “The Big Red Machine,” had so much talent that he …

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Applying W. Edwards Deming’s Ideas in Software Development

Guest post by John Hunter. This video shows Poorani Jeyaseker’s presentation, The Role of W. Edwards Deming in Today’s IT, at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar. Poorani explains how the management system drives behavior that is not useful to the organization. The business team asks for estimates for software development. Those estimates are treated as …

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Tree climbing or life-long learning – what’s the real AIM of our education system?

In our schools, targets and rankings cause cheating, focus on achievement, and drive in fear and suck the joy out of learning.

Improving the Management System with an Understanding of Deming

In his presentation at the 2015 Deming Research Seminar Joseph Schneider discusses his efforts to apply Deming’s ideas within Siemens. Joseph talks about how they worked to use Deming’s ideas even though much of the management system was not within their control (so they had to accept the system had aspects that fight against creating …

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It Depends…

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. “There is not a day I don’t think about what Dr. Deming meant to us. Deming is the core of our management,” proclaimed Shoichiro Toyoda, Toyota’s president between 1982 and 1992 and chairman between 1992 and 1999, at the 1980 Deming Prize Ceremonies in Japan. One year earlier, …

It Depends… Read More »

Manage the System to Score a Whole in One: A Golf Lesson

Guest post by Edward Martin Baker.   A version of this post originally appeared on Aileron.org. In a previous blog, “Leaders can make music,” I used the analogy of the leader as orchestra conductor who follows a score to orchestrate people playing together. The score to which I referred was Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge. Another …

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When We Understand Our Work and We are Given the Ability to Improve It – We Will

Guest post by John Hunter Jim Benson’s presentation at our 2015 International Deming Research Seminar explored how to manage the workload better to improve results. We want to help people become happy so that they will build better products. We fundamentally believe that happy people do exactly that. Companies that understand this important idea have …

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Don’t Gamble with your Company’s Culture

Guest post by Lori Fry, Principal with Navigator Management Partners, originally featured as a post at https://dignityatworkproject.com/ Follow this link to listen to our first podcast with Lori. “Our growth is hurting our culture.” “We need more structure, but I’m afraid it will kill our culture.” “Our culture is perfect. We don’t have processes and rules. We …

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Creativity: Presentation by Heather Groom

Guest post by John Hunter. Heather Groom’s presentation on Creativity at our Deming in Public Administration seminar. In discussing the roadblocks to creativity she mentioned the imposter syndrome. I have seen imposter syndrome mentioned very frequently recently (the last year or two). I find it interesting how concepts become popular and are widely shared for …

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The Problem is to Find a Date

Post by Bill Bellows, Deputy Director, The Deming Institute. In February 1989, Professor Doug Fox, from Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business, received a reply to his invitation to Dr. Deming to speak with his classes.   Dr. Deming’s letter, dated February 11th, began with: I thank you for your kind invitation to speak with your …

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Leaders Can Make Music

"An example of a system, well optimized, is a good orchestra." - W. Edwards Deming

The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Post by Kevin Cahill, Executive Director of The Deming Institute. John Hunter has led the blogging efforts of The Deming Institute, including our first post on October 1, 2012, followed by biweekly posts ever since.   As we transition the role of hosting our blogs from John to Bill Bellows, our Deputy Director, we are …

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Video of W. Edwards Deming at Western Connecticut State University in 1990

Presentation by W. Edwards Deming at Western CT State University – February 1990 We are being ruined by best efforts without knowledge. Sure we want best efforts but guided with knowledge. Efforts guided by instinct do more harm than good. Our problem is best efforts. At about the 50 minute point in the presentation Dr. …

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Find Online Resources for Learning About Deming’s Ideas on Management

There are many online resources for those looking to improve the practice of management in their organization in a way consistent with Dr. Deming’s management system. The W. Edwards Deming Institute maintains several online resources: The W. Edwards Deming Institute web site, which includes a wealth of resources including over 60 articles by Dr. Deming, …

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Public Administration: Past, Present, and Future

Professor Ravi Roy, Director of the W. Edwards Deming Incubator for Public Affairs at Southern Utah University spoke at the Deming Management in Public Administration Conference earlier this year on Public Administration: Past, Present, and Future. Quoting Denzau and North (from Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions, I believe) Systemic transformations are rooted in a …

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Creating a Deep Commitment to Delighting Customers

Those organizations that can delight customers today and take the steps today that position the organization to delight customers in the future will prosper and grow. But building and maintaining a management culture that reinforces delighting customers and long term thinking is quite difficult. I have trouble finding businesses that are focused on delighting customers. …

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Red Beads and Profound Knowledge: Deming and Quality of Education

Sharon Lohr presented the 2014 American Statistical Association (ASA) Deming Lecture – Red Beads and Profound Knowledge: Deming and Quality of Education (slides with notes and references). Dr. Lohr earned her doctorate in statistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she learned about Deming’s philosophy and met Dr. Deming. Quoting W. Edwards Deming in her …

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The Transformation is Everybody’s Job

W. Edwards Deming’s 14th point is: Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job. One important point to note is that quotes lose a great deal when taken out of context. You can also find quotes by Dr. Deming, such as: “As I use the term here, …

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Deming Podcast with Doug Hall

Doug Hall,CEO and founder of Innovation Engineering, participated in a previous podcast on Using Systems Thinking to Power Strategy, Innovation and Growth. He returns to the Deming Institute podcast again (download) and he shares his approach for using innovation or leadership to improve management practices. Doug talks about command and control management being too slow …

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What Business are We In?

That quote is from The New Economics, published in 1993. Still today many companies would benefit greatly from adopting this thinking. So often companies fail to focus on the needs of customers. So often companies focus on the short term to the detriment of long term success. We would all be better off if more …

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Exploring Measurement, Presentation by Ian Bradbury

Ian Bradbury presented on Exploring Measurement at our 2016 annual conference. As usual his presentation is packed with great information. I strongly recommend watching (also see links to more presentations by him below). At the very beginning of his talk, Ian says Stuff happens a lot and nothing results from that. But sometimes stuff happens …

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Our Aim, Vision and Values

Our Aim The aim of The W. Edwards Deming Institute® is to foster an understanding of The Deming System of Profound Knowledge® to advance commerce, prosperity and peace. Our Vision At the Deming Institute, we honor the legacy of Dr. Deming by bringing his teachings to life today and for the future. We’re introducing his …

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Test your Knowledge of Out of the Crisis

Test your knowledge of Out of the Crisis and The New Economics with crossword puzzles created by Joyce Orsini. Here is the puzzle for chapter 2 of The Out of the Crisis: Example questions: The ________ is the most important part of the production line. Experience alone, without ______ teaches nothing. I previously added a …

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Deming Institute Seminars in London and Edinburgh During May 2017

We are offering 2 new seminars in the UK this May: The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Organisations as Unusual Workshop (Shift from Big Problems to Great Opportunities) and The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Sustainability Strategy Program. The first is a workshop over two half days. The second includes both those half days and fills out …

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David and Carole Schwinn Presentation on The Man, The Mission, The Movement

David and Carole Schwinn’s presentation at the 2016 Annual Deming Conference: The Man, The Mission, The Movement: David Schwinn talking about Dr. Deming’s work at Ford Dr. Deming would come and talk to top management and come and listen to the workers. That is what he did. And he would do this over and over …

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The Degree of Interdependence

Dr. Deming discusses the interdependence of business in: Managing the Organization as a System. For example, in a bowling team each one plays his one solos, on the other hand in an orchestra it is all interdependence. They work together as a system. I’d say that the degree of interdependence is probably greater in a …

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Kevin Murphy’s Presentation: Application and Lessons of Deming’s Perspective on Leadership

Kevin Murphy’s presentation at the 14th In2:InThinking Annual Forum Weekend Conference: Application and Lessons of Deming’s Perspective on Leadership: [Vimeo plays the video automatically – which is obviously an extremely bad Ux practice. Even using their code to disable autoplay of the video doesn’t work. So I have removed the embedded video. You may view …

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Gipsie Ranney

Sadly, we have to announce the passing of our dear friend Gipsie Ranney on March 7th. Gipsie Ann Bush Ranney was born in Kingsport, Tennessee to Raymond and Lola Bush. Gipsie is survived by four cousins; Anna Kate Barnes, Dwight Campbell, Rita Marcum Denton and Thelma Marium Smith. She obtained a bachelors degree in Mathematics …

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Application of Statistical Methods in 1940

Dave Nave found an interesting forward from a set of 1985 standards on Control Charts. It describes how those standards were created as part of the World War II war effort, with Dr. Deming on the committee. Subsequently the standards were transfer to ASQ/ANSI. From the forward Upon request by the War Department, the American …

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Creating Technology Solutions that are Appropriate Given the System Context

Kentaro Toyama‘s presentation at the 2016 Annual Deming Institute Conference – Geek Heresy: Technology’s Law of Amplification From the website for Kentaro’s book, Geek Heresy “Toyama’s research reminds us that there are few one-size-fits-all solutions. If technology is going to improve the lives of the world’s poorest, it must be grounded in a deep understanding …

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Eliminating Sales Commissions at Air Force One

At Air Force One, the word team means something Over the past few years, Air Force One CEO Greg Guy did away with commission pay for all sales associates and general managers. “The performance has been great and I would never consider going back,” he says. Of the HVAC contractor’s 170 employees, pay changed for …

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Everybody Thinking, Learning and Doing

In this presentation Dan Jones discusses what we (with an understanding of Deming’s ideas) can see as an aspect of the Deming chain reaction: Focusing on quality and then time the consequence is that we lower costs. Rather than focusing initially on costs as most people do and then somehow hoping that quality and time …

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Deming’s Ideas Applied at Intermountain Healthcare Since 1988

I like to share interesting articles (and other resources) that provide examples of organizations applying Deming’s ideas in practice. Here is another of those articles: How Intermountain Trimmed Health Care Costs Through Robust Quality Improvement Efforts by Brent James and Lucy Savitz (2011). Since 1988, Intermountain Healthcare has applied to healthcare-delivery the insights of W. …

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David Langford Presentation on Motivation and System Improvement

David Langford’s presentation at our 2015 annual conference was titled: Education – Implementation Intentions and Automatization. David included a clip from one of my favorite shows, Utopia (called Dreamland in USA) with a vivid example of a performance appraisal experience. David also discusses the problems created by using extrinsic motivation to drive improved measures. As …

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Software Code Reviews from a Deming Perspective

Software code review is the practice of reviewing the software code written by colleagues on your software development team. Like many practices the form it takes can vary quite a bit. W. Edwards Deming stated in Out of the Crisis: Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass …

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What are We Trying to Accomplish?

In The Improvement Guide, the authors add 3 questions to the PDSA cycle: What are we trying to accomplish? How will we know that a change is an improvement? What change can we make that will result in improvement? As I stated in my previous post on The Improvement Guide I believe anyone using the …

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Myron Tribus Interview of Homer Sarasohn

This video shows Myron Tribus interviewing Homer Sarasohn in 1988. This post is fairly tangential to the normal scope of this blog but I find it interesting. Largely it is about efforts to rebuild the Japanese economy after the devastation of World War II. Obviously W. Edwards Deming was involved in this effort and his …

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Tim Higgins on Psychology and Intrinsic Motivation

Listen to the Deming Institute Podcast with Tim Higgins, Quality Engineer for NASA and President of the In2:InThinking Network (download podcast). Also see our recent post on Tim’s presentation at our last annual conference: Curiosity, Learning, Knowledge, and Improvement with Tim Higgins. When I read The New Economics lightbulbs started going on, some understanding of …

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Stratify Data to Hone in on Special Causes of Problems

We have a tendency to focus on special causes even when poor results are due to common causes within the system. To improve results that are due to the system trying to determine the specific problem with any bad result and fix that problem is an inefficient strategy. But there are times when seeking the …

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Creating the Foundation for a Learning Organization

Cliff and Jane Norman (Profound Knowledge Products, Inc.) presented a session at our 2016 annual conference titled: Applying Deming’s Philosophy and Theory to Create the Foundation for a Learning Organization. Cliff, quoting Brian Joiner in the presentation: It takes one kind of brains to start something, it takes a different type of brains to sustain …

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Reflections on Dr. Deming’s Hospital Notes – What Has Changed Since 1990?

Guest post by Mark Graban About ten years ago, somebody sent me a PDF file of Dr. Deming’s “Some Notes on Management in a Hospital.” I felt like somebody had shared a bootleg tape of my favorite band, as I wasn’t sure the article had ever been formally published anywhere. Since I wasn’t sure if …

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Educate New Managers on Their New Responsibilities

Far too often companies promote employees into management positions and expect them to fulfill the obligations of their new position without helping prepare them to meet their new responsibilities. People who excelled at doing their non-supervisory job often have little education or experience to succeed with their new responsibilities. Managing a software development team is …

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Eric Budd Presentation on Data and Operational Definitions

Eric Budd’s presentation at the 2016 Annual Deming Institute Conference: An Exercise in Operational Definition. The exercise Eric uses in the presentation shows how much variation can show up in data – just from how the data is collected. And in this example the data even has an operational definition used in collecting the data. …

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Jobs to be Done

"While many in the business world associate the word 'theory' with something purely academic or abstract, nothing could be further from the truth. Theories that explain causality are among the most important and practical tools business leaders can have." - Clayton Christensen

The Failure of “The Livonia Philosophy” at my GM Plant

Guest post by Mark Graban As I wrote about in my first post, my first job out of college was at the GM Livonia Engine Plant, outside of Detroit. General Motors wasn’t my ideal workplace after having read Deming’s Out of the Crisis and learning a bit about Lean manufacturing in college. If possible, I …

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The Most Popular Videos on Our YouTube Channel in the Last Year

Here are the most popular videos on The W. Edwards Deming Institute You Tube channel in the last year. Unsurprisingly, those with W. Edwards Deming in them are very popular. The videos with the most views in the last year: W. Edwards Deming: The 14 Points: 70,693 total views all time (added 2 year ago). …

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Deadly Disease of Management: Emphasis on Short-term Profits

One of Dr. Deming’s 7 deadly diseases is: Emphasis on short-term profits: short-term thinking It is easy to focus on short term goals and use a somewhat simple short term figure to measure success. But just because it is easier to look at the quarterly profit figure than determine progress without such a clear measure, …

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Why Dr. Deming’s Work is So Important to Me

Guest post by Mark Graban,  founder and lead blogger and podcaster at LeanBlog.org, While my work is usually associated with the term “Lean” and the lessons from the Toyota Production System, some of my earliest learning and inspiration for improvement came from the work of W. Edwards Deming. I don’t think I learned anything about …

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Curiosity, Learning, Knowledge, and Improvement with Tim Higgins

Tim Higgins provided the Deming 101 presentation at our 2016 annual conference – Curiosity, Learning, Knowledge, and Improvement: Tim starts off by saying that some people think Deming’s life was about variation but Deming’s purpose for understanding variation was to learn. This insight is wise. Quotes are useful to provide focus but that can also …

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The Most Popular Posts on The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog in 2016

The 20 most popular post on our blog this year (by page views reported by our analytic tool): Myth: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It (2015) A Bad System Will Beat a Good Person Every Time (2015) Minimal Viable Product (2014) 2015 Deming Prize Awardees (2015)* Deming and Lean: The Disparities and …

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Using Dr. Deming’s Ideas at Baptist Memorial Health Care

Skip Steward, Chief Improvement Office (CIO) for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee is the latest guest on the Deming Podcast (download the podcast). Dr. Deming’s thinking continues to influence me, not only in things like PDSA thinking, but also in some of those other fundamental principles around constancy of purpose, around how …

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Countering Confirmation Bias

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge. – Daniel J. Boorstin After you decide that Deming’s ideas seem valuable you must act to adopt new methods in order to benefit from what you have learned. This takes many forms and I have discussed many possible steps in that …

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Overview and Status of The W. Edwards Deming Institute

Kevin Cahill, Executive Director of The W. Edwards Deming Institute provided an overview and status of the Institute at our last annual conference. Kevin mentioned our updated web site, our presence on various social media sites and the quote web site we created last year. A lot of people ask about my grandfather’s quotes. If …

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Using Deming’s Ideas – When Your Organization Doesn’t

You see things through the Deming Lens - but your boss/co-workers/team/board do not. What can you do?

The Influence of C. I. Lewis on Walter Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming had a large and varied collection of influences. One of the most difficult for people to grasp is C.I. Lewis. The ideas Dr. Deming drew from the work of C.I. Lewis provide one of the ways his ideas on management are different from others. But trying to read the original work of …

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Ravi Roy on Teaching Deming’s Ideas at Southern Utah University

In this Deming Institute podcast, Deming Fellow Ravi Roy discusses teaching Deming's ideas at Southern Utah University.

Using Checklists to Reduce Process Variation and Improve Results

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a wonderful book about how to create systems that work. At the core the Checklist Manifesto is about determining the critical process conditions and creating a system to assure that the those process items are properly handled. In the book Atul Gawande paraphrases Daniel Boorman, veteran pilot who …

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Updated W. Edwards Deming Institute Web Site

We have launched an updated web site for The W. Edwards Deming Institute. The new site offers much better usability when using a smart phone and has an updated design. We have added several new features to the site to aid those seeking to apply Deming’s ideas. I expect the new feature our readers will …

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Case Study: Adopting a Deming Management System in a Service Company

Total Quality Management in Logistics: a case study from the trucking industry by Harry Lehman, Jr. (a thesis at the Naval Postgraduate School). The thesis aims to study the practical aspects of implementing a W. Edwards Deming-based quality program within a particular trucking company, Mason Transporters I am thankful the Navy makes such documents available …

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Transforming the Management System of an Organization

In response to our request asking what topics readers would like to see addressed on our blog, Dan Bracewell said: I’d like to see some posts about how to implement change in an organization. How does one get an organization to start looking at itself as a system? How does one get the organization to …

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Industrial Statistics – Research vs Practice

2013 American Statistical Association (ASA) Deming Lecture: Industrial Statistics – Research vs Practice by Vijay Nair, University of Michigan. In his talk Dr. Nair referenced the article, W. Edwards Deming: The Story ofa Truly Remarkable Person, by Robert B. Austenfeld. He also referenced Dr. Deming becoming famous in the USA overnight, at the age of …

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Applying Understanding of Variation to Large Datasets

Understanding Variation by Thomas Nolan, Rocco J. Perla and Lloyd Provost. There have been large changes in the use of data since the publication of Understanding Variation, by Thomas Nolan and Lloyd Provost. The new article discusses how to use an understanding of variation when working with large datasets (for example, government data). From the …

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Optimize the Overall System Not the Individual Components

From Dr. Deming’s last interview; published in Industry Week magazine. The results of a system must be managed by paying attention to the entire system. When we optimize sub-components of the system we don’t necessarily optimize the overall system. This is true when looking at the people as Dr. Deming mentions. It is also true …

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Change the Situation – Get a Different Result

David Langford’s presentation at the 2015 Deming in Education conference starts with a clip from Clare Crawford Mason’s PBS presentation on Mt. Edgecumbe High School, in Sitka, Alaska. Deming was a champion of the individual. He would go into companies and he would just berate management, but he loved the workers… He would say things …

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Toyota’s Management History

One of the items Toyota highlights on their web site is winning the Deming Prize in 1965. From the Toyota website: Receiving the Deming Application Prize strengthened Toyota Motor Co., Ltd.’s resolve to push ahead with further TQC initiatives, and based on the points cited by the Deming Prize judges the company set the following …

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Developing Software Using Deming’s Ideas

Deming Institute podcast with TJ Gokcen, CEO of Acquate on “Joy in Software Development” (download the podcast). Describing the importance of creating software using Deming’s ideas as expressed in agile software development, TJ says so it is a set of methods and practices that is more catered to change. So you do not have a …

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Deming Lecture by Dr. Jeff Wu on Quality Improvement from Autos to Nanotechnology

Deming Lecture at the 2012 ASA Joint – Quality Improvement: From Autos and Chips to Nano and Bio” by Jeff Wu, Georgia Institute of Technology. One of the points Dr. Wu mentioned is Shewhart called common causes, chance causes, and special causes, assignable causes. I must say I have always thought assignable causes seems like …

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Leadership and the New Science

Leadership and the New Science: Learning about Organizations from an Orderly Universe by Margaret Wheatley does a good job of exploring how to view organizations as a system. A quote by Meg Wheatley from an interview long after the publication of the book does a good job of capturing the ideas explored in the book: …

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graphic with photos of the speakers

Deming Scholars Seminar, November 9, 2016 in Cheyenne, Wyoming

The Wyoming Business Alliance, in partnership with The W. Edwards Deming Institute®, presents the Deming Scholars Seminar on November 9, 2016 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Dr. Bill Bellows, new Deputy Director of The Deming Institute

I am thrilled to announce an exciting new chapter for The W. Edwards Deming Institute — one which will open tremendous possibilities for our future. We welcome Dr. Bill Bellows to The Deming Institute staff as our new Deputy Director! Bill has been a long time member of The Deming Institute’s Board of Trustees; a …

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Understanding Data is Often Challenging

Using data to understand the system and validate our theories and successful improvements is an important part managing well. In some cases it is fairly easy to understand and collect data that provides a clear and accurate measure of what we care about. But getting data that helps can also be very challenging. Creating a …

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2016 Deming Prize Winners

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has announced the 2016 Deming Prize winners. Three companies were awarded the Deming Prize this year: Ashok Leyland, Pantnagar Plant (India) Toyota Motor Kyushu (Japan) Maruwa Electronic & Chemical (Japan) Here is a blog post on a 2006 visit to the Toyota Motor Kyushu plant by Mike …

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Huge Payments to Executives for Good Luck

A recent Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation article on the finding that: 90 Cents of Every “Pay-for-Performance” Dollar are Paid for Luck. I agree that mainly we award senior executives huge pay based on luck and the natural result of the organization they are a part of. It seems there …

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W. Edwards Deming Discussing the Leadership We Need in Our Organizations

This is a very interesting interview with W. Edwards Deming by Bill Scherkenbach (recording in February 1984, during this time Bill Scherkenbach worked at Ford and Deming was consulting with Ford). In this post I continue to explore this powerful video; it is part two of: Bill Scherkenbach’s Interview with Dr. Deming. Dr. Deming discusses …

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The Deming Dimension by Henry Neave

The Deming Dimension by Henry Neave provides good historical background and then a well presented explanation of Deming’s ideas on management. It is one of the best books to read to learn about Deming’s ideas. The book includes a forward by W. Edwards Deming: The prevailing system of management has smothered the individual, and consequently …

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Improving the System to Reduce Costs Isn’t Equal to Cost Cutting

Real benefits come when managers begin to understand the profound difference between “cost cutting” and “eliminating the causes of costs.” Brian Joiner in Fourth Generation Management 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 …

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2011 ASA Deming Lecture by Roger Hoerl – Need Any Country be Poor?

2011 ASA Deming Lecture (edit: ASA broke the link, so it was removed) by Roger Hoerl, GE Global Research: The World Is Calling; Should We Answer? Roger starts by discussing some areas of Deming’s work that are not getting the focus they deserve. I’d like to focus on a few areas of Dr. Deming’s career …

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Better Meetings for Your Organization

Meetings are often frustrating for those spending time sitting through them. The solutions proposed for this issue often seem not very well thought out to me. The various traits (frequency, length, detailed agendas or not etc.) of meetings are useful or harmful depending on the circumstances. This is similar to Deming’s ideas on management, I …

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Using Outdated Management Practices Can Be Very Costly

Readers of this blog are aware of the problems created by using quotas: Achieved the goal by not the aim (2013) – The Futility of a Numerical Goal (2014), Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System (2013), Dr. Deming on the problems with targets or goals. Wells Fargo to pay $150 million-plus …

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Finding Joy In Learning: Applying Deming’s Theory to Schools

Presentation by Michael King and Jane Kovacs at the 2015 Deming in Education conference – Finding Joy In Learning: Applying Deming’s Theory to Schools. The speakers work for Quality Learning Australasia (QLA). QLA’s website has quite a bit of useful information. One of the tools they used in the presentation is a Lotus diagram which …

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Using Deming’s Ideas Today to Promote Trust and Meaningful Work

Joshua Macht wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review (published in June) : The Management Thinker We Should Never Have Forgotten. In that article he explores the importance of Dr. Deming’s ideas today. He quotes from the response W. Edwards Deming sent Peter Senge on his book, and which Senge included in his introduction …

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Break Down Barriers Between Departments

Some of W. Edwards Deming’s 14 obligations of management have opponents that argue the reverse is wise. Some believe it is good to “motivate” people by making them fearful, for example. Others believe in selecting suppliers for the moment based on whoever gives the cheapest quote today. But some of the 14 obligations don’t really …

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What Topics Would You Like Us to Discuss on Our Blog?

What topics would you like us to explore in future posts on this blog? What questions would you like us respond to? One of the goals for this blog is to engage the community of readers in sharing there thoughts on the ideas we discuss. Please share your comments on the blog posts and respond …

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Deming Regression

Most of Dr. Deming’s management work requires no understanding of advanced statistical methods. He was also a statistician and this post takes a look at one of his contributions to the field of statistics: the Deming Regression. In his book, Statistical Adjustment of Data (1943), W. Edwards Deming discussed, among other things, various methods to …

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Exploring Complex Problems Using Systems Thinking

Cornell Policy Review published a special issue exploring the application of systems thinking to public policy problems. Graduate students were given an introduction to systems thinking and then applied the concepts to address issues their field. Students applied systems thinking to a wide array of problems, and they reported finding DSRP [distinctions, systems, relationships, and …

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The Real Lessons of the Red Bead Factory

The video shows a recorded webinar for the Healthcare Value Network by Mark Graban and Mike Stoecklein. In the video they explore the real lessons of Dr. Deming’s famous red bead factory demonstration and the principle of understanding and managing variation. Mark mentions how Bill Boller, with Hewlett-Packard, created the red bead experiment as a …

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Joy in Learning

We have another Deming Institute podcast with David Langford, to share with you – Where is all the Joy? (download podcast). David explains that when looking to improve the place to begin is to examine your circle of influence and determine where you have a chance to help move toward better practices. A clip from …

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Looking Back at Previous Posts on The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Blogs are a convenient way to stay informed on topics you are interested in. They allow people to easily use an RSS reader to view recent posts that have been published as they have time. One of the weaknesses in how blogs are used is that even active followers of a blog rarely seek out …

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Transformation: How to Apply SoPK

Transformation: How to Apply the System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) presentation by Tripp Babbit at our 2015 research conference. Tripp also moderates our Deming Institute podcast. Tripp discusses Kurt Lewin’s change model: unfreezing – overcoming “interim” and dismantling the existing midset changing freezing – adopting the new habit/way-of-thinking, the new way becomes what you expect …

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Some Notes on Management in a Hospital by W. Edwards Deming

We used to publish a newsletter. In the Fall 2006 Deming Interaction we published an excerpt from an article by Dr. Deming: Some Notes on Management in a Hospital [the link that we broke has been removed] (published in 1990 in the Journal of the Society of Health Systems). In the lecture discussed from our …

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A Historical Look at Deming’s Career: Lecture by J. Stuart Hunter

Every year the American Statistical Association (ASA) selects an honoree to present a Deming Lecture at their annual conference. The 2009 ASA Deming Lecture by J. Stuart Hunter, Princeton University: the first part of the lecture (20 minutes) is a historical look at W. Edwards Deming’s career and then it looks at the future of …

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Red Bead Experiment Simulation

I ran across this simulation via a post on an e-learning web site. The community has challenges to create short simulations on various concepts and one of the challenges focused on the red bead experiment: the comments have links to various attempts. Remember these are created as an exercise by people that don’t necessarily have …

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My First Trip To Japan by Peter Scholtes

The Philadelphia Area Council for Excellence organized a tour to visit businesses Japan in 1985 and learn from them. 38 people participated in the trip including Peter Scholtes; William Hunter (my father); Brian and Laurel Joiner; Myron Tribus; and David and Carole Schwinn (David and Carole are presenting at our annual conference in September). Peter …

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2016 W. Edwards Deming Institute Annual Conference, 16 to 18 September 2016

2016 Deming Institute Annual Conference September 16 – 18, 2016 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan Find more information and the registration form. This webcast is a clip from Ian Bradbury’s presentation at a previous annual conference. Facilitators Eric Budd, Improvement Coordinator at Peaker Services Dennis Sergent, President & Principal Consultant – Sergent Results Group …

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Export anything to a friendly country except American management

One of the reasons quotes by W. Edwards Deming are so popular is that he had an incredible understanding of the practice of management. Another reason they are popular is he had a sense of humor that was captured well in several popular quotes. This quote is included on the back of The Deming Management …

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Why Some Things in Education Work….and Others Don’t

Presentation by JW Wilson at our 2015 Deming in Education conference: Why Some Things in Education Work….and Others Don’t: There is a mismatch between what science knows and what education does. This is true in education and management. We are not very effective at adjusting existing practices based on new knowledge. In his presentation JW …

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Specification-based Management is Not Sufficient

Guest post by Bill Bellows (originally written as a comment about the question of how Dr. Deming viewed Six Sigma Quality). While Dr. Deming was known for his appreciation of continuous improvement, he was also know for encouraging us to think of variation and improvement from a systems perspective. As such, I do not believe …

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From Chaos to Process at Fitness Matters

Travis Timmons, owner of Fitness Matters, describes the company's Deming Transformation that took them from chaos to stability - and unprecedented success.

Minimize Total Cost

An in-depth discussion of the Point 4 in Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s 14 Points for Management.

Leadership Principles of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Presentation by Joyce Orsini

In this presentation at the Reliability Conference Joyce Orsini discusses the Leadership Principles of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Joyce in an emeritus Board Member of The W. Edwards Deming Institute, editor of The Essential Deming, and Director of the former Deming Scholars MBA Program at Fordham University Graduate School of Business. She discusses various topics …

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A New Synthesis from a Transcending Perspective to Personal Improvement

Clare Crawford Mason spoke at the The W. Edwards Deming Institute conference in l997 in Alexandria, Virginia. Here is an excerpt from that talk: Profound Knowledge: A New Synthesis from a Transcending Perspective to Personal Improvement We are all familiar with the systems diagram Dr. Deming put on the blackboard in l950 to show the …

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Silos to Systems: Presentation by Lisa Snyder

Silos to Systems: Our Journey to World Class – presentation by Lisa Snyder at the First Annual Deming in Education conference. In one of the videos included in the presentation we hear this quote In this model you really are a team of teachers. And that is a shift in mindset a shift in thinking …

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Product and Service Innovation is Driven by Customer Focused Organizations

At the core of W. Edwards Deming’s philosophy is a focus on delighting customers, allowing everyone to contribute what they have to offer and continually improving. In order to bring about great results certain knowledge and strategies are useful. So things like learning to view the organization as a system and gaining an understanding of …

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The Schools Our Children Deserve by Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn starts with an excellent discussion his fear of applying business improvement ideas in the education setting. …And yet, Dr. Deming’s work offered some principles at an abstract level that, when pulled out of a workplace context, turn out to be equally revolutionary, powerful, and constructive in virtually any other kind of environment, including …

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How to Use Data and Avoid Being Mislead by Data

One of the four areas of Deming’s management system is “understanding variation.” The core principle underlying that concept is using data to improve while understanding what data is and is not telling you. The mistakes in interpreting data are very often related to mistaking natural variation in data as meaningful. Combining this with our brains …

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Quality Improvement in Maternity Services: How Deming Can Help

Guest post by Victoria Morgan The quality of maternity services in England is in the spotlight. National audits have shown that whilst outcomes have improved significantly over the last decade there is marked variation in outcomes that cannot be explained by clinical and social risk factors (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential …

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The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2016 Fall Conference, Sep 16-18

2016 Deming Institute Annual Conference September 16 – 18, 2016 Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan Find more information and the registration form. Facilitators Eric Budd, Improvement Coordinator at Peaker Services Dennis Sergent, President & Principal Consultant – Sergent Results Group Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry, Founding Partners – Modus Cooperandi and Co-Authors of …

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Student Led Change

Presentation by Christine Simpson and Sarah Ambrus at the 2015 Deming in Education conference: Empowering Students to Lead Change. In discussing the use of the 5 why’s Sarah made an important point that people would benefit from remembering. Focus on what we can control. Sometimes you have to go back and redefine your problem in …

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Getting an Early Appreciation for Deming’s Ideas

Dr. Ravi Roy is the inaugural W. Edwards Deming Fellow with The W. Edwards Deming Institute. He also serves as Director of the Public Administration program at Southern Utah University. We received this adorable photo from proud papa Ravi Roy of his older daughter Nicole, reading The New Economics to her younger sister, Yianna. Little …

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Dr. Deming’s Influence on One Elementary School Principal

Presentation by Jake Rodgers and Phyllis Tubbs: Dr. Deming’s Influence on One Elementary School Principal at the 1st annual Deming in Education Conference: Jake asks a good question (as he learned from David Langford who learned it from W. Edwards Deming). What’s your theory? Asking yourself this question lets you explore why you do what …

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Cliff Norman and Ron Moen Discuss the History of the PDSA Cycle

Cliff Norman and Ron Moen, of Associates in Process Improvement (API) discuss the history of the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) Cycle and their research on the subject in the latest Deming Institute podcast (download the podcast). This is the second Deming podcast with Ron Moen and Cliff Norman – listen to their first: Discuss …

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A Perspective on Deming’s Ideas

Here is a long document looking at Deming’s ideas, written by Raphael Vitalo – Deming Revisited: The Real Quality Model for Commerce. The document explores Dr. Deming’s ideas in depth and provides the authors viewpoint. In my opinion, it is an interesting read. I would disagree with some statements and some characterizations but it is …

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Statistical Techniques Allow Management to do a Better Job

In this post I discuss another wonderful paper by Dr. Deming. The W. Edwards Deming Institute makes this paper, and many more, available on our website. As you would expect from a non-profit focused on promoting the application of his ideas these articles are freely available with no barriers to downloading them. On the Teaching …

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Kevin Cahill’s Welcome Message to the Deming In Education Conference

Kevin Cahill’s welcome message to 2015 Deming In Education Conference. Kevin is the Director the The W. Edwards Deming Institute. Kevin talks about the need to break the bounds of common sense practices. Without change we continue to get the results we have always achieved. To improve we need to try new strategies and to …

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Systems Thinking: Feedback Loops

Appreciation for a system is one of the four components of Deming’s management system. In this context, the most common item to think of is Deming’s diagram of an organization as a system. That is a powerful diagram. When thinking of appreciation for a system within the Deming context, the view of the organization as …

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The Intellectual Foundation of Modern Improvement

The video above shows Don Berwick’s presentation at the IHI/BMJ International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care, 13 April 2016. He starts the presentation with the Red Bead Game (see related posts on our blog: Lessons From the Red Bead Experiment with Dr. Deming, The Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming). …

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The Deming in Education Initiative

In this Deming Institute podcast (download the podcast) Kevin Cahill and David Langford share how The Deming in Education Initiative was conceived, the impact of the Deming Philosophy on education, and where the Initiative is going in the future. The initiative first began many years ago when David joined the Deming Institute Advisory Board to …

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Bill Scherkenbach Interview with Dr. Deming

This is a very interesting interview with W. Edwards Deming by Bill Scherkenbach (recording in February 1984, during this time Bill Scherkenbach worked at Ford and Deming was consulting with Ford). The interview provides many insightful quotes from Deming and shows his concern for the widespread failures of American management and the suffering caused by …

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Using Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge to Gain Insight into Data Collection

Guest post by Kim Melton When many of the ads on the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament are about using data to make decisions, you know that data has become big business! In ads IBM touched on the use of data in transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, crime, love, education, farming, pollution, weather, energy, and …

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Upcoming Deming Institute Seminars and Conferences

We have several events scheduled throughout 2016 for those interested in applying Dr. Deming’s ideas today. Deming Management Method for Owners and Executives May 23-25, 2016 in Hauppauge, New York 2 1/2 day seminar with Kelly Allan and Lynda Finn. This seminar is aimed at those interested in implementing Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge (a.k.a. …

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Eliminate Slogans, Exhortations and Targets

Point 10 on W. Edwards Deming’s list of 14 Points for western management: Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus …

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Inquiring Minds: Improving Elementary Science by Linda Lippe

Linda Lippe’s presentation, Inquiring Minds: Improving Elementary Science in Leander ISD, Texas at our 2015 Deming in Education Conference. The 2nd annual Deming in Education conference will be held November 4-6, 2016 Atlanta, Georgia One of the first tools they used in 2003 to determine what they should focus on to make their students successful …

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“Our Problems Are Different” – Not Really

It is very common for people to see their situation as special and so different that they can only learn about management from some situation identical to the one they face. But this is a misunderstanding of what learning about better management practices is about. It isn’t an effort to find practices to copy. It …

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True North Can Really Be “Management by Results” in Disguise

Guest post by Mike Stoecklein I hear a lot of talk in healthcare about the importance of defining “true north” for the organization. If you search the internet, you’ll find many definitions of true north and examples from organizations. Here are a few (all are from healthcare organizations): The company’s governing objective. Example given: deliver …

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What To Consider When Looking at Data from Surveys

In this latest W. Edwards Deming Institute podcast, Dr. Sophronia (Frony) Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, (direct download) discussess what you need to consider when looking at data from surveys. One of the points Frony makes is that often the survey data you see fail to provide the details that you really …

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Lean Management Journal Articles by Bill Bellows

Bill Bellows serves on the board of trustees for The W. Edwards Deming Institute. He has been writing articles for the Lean Management Journal for several years that discuss how to apply Deming’s ideas (and related management improvement ideas) in organizations. Those articles include: The Last Straw And, so it goes, when we relentlessly focus …

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Deming Inspired Innovation in Education

It is easy for me to imagine the power of focusing on meaning in education. We are naturally curious and interested in learning. The education system often beats that out of us, but if you switched the aim from grading to providing meaningful learning experiences you harness the natural desires we have to learn.

Institute Training on the Job

“Institute training on the job” is point 8 in W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points for management. Dr. Deming’s management system was focused on creating a work environment that allowed people to take pride in their work by letting them contribute fully. So many workplaces waste the abilities of people and in doing so demoralize them …

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Tips to Get the Most Out of the Deming Collection at the Library of Congress

Guest post by Luciana Paulise. See her previous guest posts: Applying Deming Principles at Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Applying a Model for Small Business Continual Improvement. W. Edwards Deming used to say “Knowledge is the key. Lack of knowledge…that is the problem.” Knowledge is what differentiates successful companies from the ones that are not. …

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W. Edwards Deming and the Leander Way

2014 W. Edwards Deming Institute conference presentation by Monta Akin, Kendra Shaffer and Jill Walker: W. Edwards Deming and the Leander Way. The Leander, Texas independent school district looked to focus on improving student learning (not to improve teaching). Those ideas seem similar but there is a big difference in what you see as your …

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Institute Leadership

Point 7 in Dr. Deming’s 14 obligations of management: Institute leadership (see point 12 and Chapter 8 in Out of the Crisis). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers. …

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What Role Does/Should The Deming System of Profound Knowledge Play in the World of “Big Data”?

To put it simply, effective use of Big Data to make decisions depends on each of the four components of The System of Profound Knowledge and the interaction between the components.

Images for Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

We have added images to our W. Edwards Deming quote web site. Each quote has two image styles to chose from. And the images include a link to the page on our web site that provides context for the quote along with links to additional information about the quote within the context of Deming’s ideas …

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The Most Popular Videos on The W. Edwards Deming Institute You Tube Channel

The most popular videos on The W. Edwards Deming Institute You Tube channel are, not surprisingly, those with Dr. Deming in them. The videos with the most views since they have been added are: Dr. Deming – The 5 Deadly Diseases (1984): 104,715 views (added 6 years ago). W. Edwards Deming: The 14 Points: 42,379 …

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Reflections from Dr. Deming on a Foundation for Leading

Presentation by Bill Bellows at our 2014 annual conference – The End of Perfection: Reflections from Dr. Deming on a Foundation for Leading improvement efforts could be advanced by acknowledging self imposed restrictions on our thinking Bill discussed how seeking to eliminate defects (zero defects) and the wishing to reach perfection are antithetical to continual …

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Applying a Model for Small Business Continual Improvement

Guest post by Luciana Paulise, see part 1 of these thoughts: Applying Deming Principles at Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. How to apply the model The SME deck is to be developed in two months, with weekly two hours meetings, on-line or face to face depending on the location of my clients. After the two months, …

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Applying Deming Principles at Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

SMED your SME journey applying Deming principles – guest post by Luciana Paulise How to build succesful business right the first time For more than 10 years now I have been helping people to develop their own Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME). As a graduate with a degree in business, at first, I helped students …

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Deming Podcast with Scott Dalgleish, CEO at Phase IV Engineering

Scott Dalgleish is the CEO at Phase IV Engineering Scott first encountered Deming’s ideas while an engineer at Proctor & Gamble in 1986. Deming training was rolled out to us. I thought it was a really wonderful thing. It provided some very innovative and realistic solutions to solve a lot of problems in the plant. …

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Online Resources for Exploring the Ideas of W. Edwards Deming

There are many online resources for those looking to improve the practice of management in their organization in a way consistent with Dr. Deming’s management system. The W. Edwards Deming Institute maintains several online resources: The W. Edwards Deming Institute web site, which includes a wealth of resources including over 60 articles by Dr. Deming …

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Driving Out Fear: Why and How by Doug Stilwell and Mark Lane

This webcast shows the presentation at our 2015 annual conference, Driving Out Fear: Why and How, by Doug Stilwell and Mark Lane. Doug Stilwell provides an overview on some of the theory and science and behind stress and fear. And then Mark talked about what can be done to reduce fear in organizations. I liked …

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The Deming Management Method by Mary Walton

The Deming Management Method by Mary Walton was a book that served to introduce many to the ideas of W. Edwards Deming. The book was published in 1988. Dr. Deming wrote an introduction to the book, including these words: In the decade after the War [the Second World War], the rest of the world was …

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Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System

The W. Edwards Deming Institute podcast with Dr. Sophronia (Frony) Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System (direct download), is another in our understanding variation series. Frony discusses the importance of Statistical Process Control (SPC) in all parts of an organization. …

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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). When people think of Dr. Deming they often think of the use of statistics and control charts, the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle, the …

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Lean Blog Podcast with Kevin Cahill

Lean Blog Podcast #238 – Kevin Cahill, on his Grandfather, W. Edwards Deming (download). Quote from Kevin in the podcast: Somebody at any level does have some sphere of influence that they can impact… by just thinking from a systems standpoint, by looking at the organization differently than some of the other folks who view …

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Is There Hope…? An Introduction to Deming’s Management Ideas by Eric Budd

Eric Budd’s presentation, Is There Hope…?, at our 2015 annual conference. In Eric’s presentation he frequently asked the attendees to think and discuss or write down their ideas related to the ideas he was presenting. It is very valuable to have those listening (in a learning environment) think about what they are learning and write …

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Deming in Education: 2-Day Seminar in Seattle, 11 – 12 March 2016

A Deming in Education 2-Day Seminar will be facilitated by David Langford in Seattle, 11 – 12 March 2016 Be a part of our first Deming In Education Initiative Seminar The Deming Institute presents a two-day interactive seminar and hands-on introduction to the Deming Method. Led by David Langford, this seminar focuses on addressing the …

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Our 10 Most Popular Posts in 2015

The most popular post on our blog this year: Myth: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It (2015) What’s Deming Got to Do With Agile Software Development and Kanban (2013) 2014 Deming Prize Awardees (2014) Dr. Deming Called for the Elimination of The Annual Performance Appraisal (2012) Deming and Lean: The Disparities and …

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Chinese Language Edition of Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming

The Deming Institute has arranged to have a Chinese language version of W. Edwards Deming’s classic, Out of the Crisis, published. You may order the book online. An excerpt from the forward (by Kevin Cahill and Kelly Allan) to this new Chinese edition of Deming’s Out of the Crisis: Many executives also make the error …

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Data is Important and You Must Confirm What the Data Actually Says

“Change the rule and you will get a new number.” Attributed to W. Edwards Deming. Direct quote from The New Economics “If you change the rule for counting people, you come up with a new number.” Dr. Deming emphasized the importance of understanding what the data actually meant (and how easily we can be mislead …

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Podcast with Lynda Finn: The Value of the Simple Run Chart

Lynda Finn, President of Statistical Insight and facilitator for The Deming Institute. Download the podcast with Linda: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Data Points. This podcast is the first episode of our “Knowledge In Variation Series.” Lynda discusses the importance of moving from spreadsheets to plotting data, and the common mistakes that organizations make …

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Reactions to “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We”

We recently announced the availability of the 1980 NBC News special report, “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We,” that introduced Dr. Deming to the USA business community. Many people have enjoyed viewing that program. Here we collect some of the reactions that have been posted online. If Japan Can, Why Can’t We? A Retrospective by …

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Help Bring Joy to Learning, Joy in Life

Give by 28 December 2015 to double your gift! Joy in learning comes not so much from what is learned, but from learning. Joy on the job comes not so much from the result…but from contribution to optimization of the system in which everybody wins. – W. Edwards Deming Do you remember the joy of …

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Deming’s Stage 0: By What Method?

Ron Moen’s presentation at The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2014 conference – Deming’s Stage 0: By What Method? Ron talks about W. Edwards Deming teaching a 2 week course on consumer research in Japan in 1951: that course included a section titled “the art of questioning and interviewing.” Dr. Deming had participants go out into …

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2 1/2 Day Deming Institute Seminar February 9 – 11, 2016

Deming Institute Workshop – Leading With A Systems View 9 to 11 February 2016 Tipp City, Ohio, USA “I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management), 6% special” – W. Edwards Deming Aim: …

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Test your Knowledge of Out of the Crisis and The New Economics

Test your knowledge of Out of the Crisis and The New Economics with crossword puzzles created by Joyce Orsini. Here is the puzzle for chapter 1 of The New Economics: See puzzles for every chapter of both books (and also chapter 1 of Sample Design in Business Research) on the Deming Cooperative website. Joyce was …

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If Japan Can, Why Cant We? – 1980 NBC Special Report

It is very hard for us today to remember (or learn if we are too young) what the situation was like in 1980 (see the bottom of the post for some data on the economy at that time). Specifically two areas were very different back then: the USA economy and the media landscape. On June …

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Photos of the First Deming in Education Conference

Photos of the First Deming in Education Conference held this month in Seattle.

Current Neuroscience Understanding Related to Psychology and the Theory of Knowledge

Presentation by Ed Chaplin MD at our 2015 Deming Institute annual conference – It Takes An Enterprise: Current Neuroscience and Knowledge of Psychology This is really a great talk that does a great job of illustrating the importance of understanding how our brains work (psychology) and how we think (and risks in what we think …

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A Powerful Tool: The Capacity Matrix

I attended a 4 day seminar by David Langford about 15 years ago. The seminar was on using Deming’s ideas to improve education. I wasn’t in the education field, but I believe what I wrote about earlier: we don’t need to restrict our management learning to our industry. And thankfully my boss shared that thinking …

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Using Data to Seek Continual Improvement, Not Just Process Behavior (Monitoring)

Dr. Donald Wheeler and Dr. Henry Neave wrote an interesting article on the use of control charts (also known as process behavior charts) in Quality Digest recently: Shewhart and the Probability Approach Shewhart’s use of three-sigma limits, as opposed to any other multiple of sigma, did not stem from any specific mathematical computation. Rather, Shewhart …

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Paula Marshall’s Presentation at Our 2015 Conference on Using Deming’s Ideas at The Bama Companies

Paula Marshall, CEO of The Bama Companies, tells us about her experiences with Dr. Deming and his influence on the family business in her presentation at out 2015 annual conference. Also see Paula’s presentation at the 2014 Deming Conference Webcast. Speaking of the long term relationship with McDonald’s (currently $250 million a year): McDonald’s in …

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Applying Dr. Deming’s Ideas at the Lakeville Public School System

Dr. Lisa Snyder, Superintendent of the Lakeville Public Schools shares how the work of Dr. Deming is influencing her as a superintendent and the rewards and challenges of adopting his philosophies in the latest Deming podcast. Lisa will be speaking at the First Annual Deming in Education Conference (in less than 2 weeks). Lisa’s Deming …

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2015 Deming Prize Winners

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has announced the 2015 Deming Prize winners. One company was awarded the Deming Grand Prize this year: National Engineering Industries Limited (India) 3 years after a company has received the Deming Prize they may apply to the top prize. That prize has previously been named the Japan …

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First Annual Deming in Education Conference, 6-8 November 2015

Join us 6-8 November 2015 for the First Annual Deming in Education Conference at the Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle, Washington. Alfie Kohn and David Langford will be featured speakers at the conference. Also, conference attendees will have the opportunity to here from: Kevin Cahill, Executive Director, The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Michael King and Jane …

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Jim Benson: There is No Instant Pudding, You have to Show Up to Disrupt

Jim Benson’s presentation at The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2015 annual conference: There is No Instant Pudding, You have to Show Up to Disrupt. Everyone in the company needs to be R&D [research and development], even it is just a little bit… We want to be continuously reinventing our companies, our selves and our world. …

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Standardization Doesn’t Stamp Out Creativity

I understand that some of the ideas Dr. Deming expressed challenge people’s beliefs and are difficult to accept. I can accept that. Certain exclamations I have more trouble accepting. One of the things I find annoying, in this way, is that reducing variation and using standardization is said to mean everyone has to be the …

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Ron Moen and Cliff Norman Discuss the Evolution of Deming’s Management Ideas

In the most recent Deming Institute podcast Ron Moen and Cliff Norman, of Associates in Process Improvement (API), discuss their paper (to be published in 2016), “Evolution of Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge” and the “journey of learning” Dr. Deming and they have experienced. Ron Moen and Cliff Norman are co-authors, along with their colleagues …

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Before Deming’s 14 Points for Management

The French Deming Association has a mission to implement the management theory designed by Deming. They offer The New Economics and Out of the Crisis in French as well as other related books. Their web site also offers several interesting papers including: Before Deming’s 14 Points for Management by Jean-Marie Gogue, The French Deming Association. …

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Riding a Bike and the Theory of Knowledge

Theory of knowledge, how we know what we know, is an area that is difficult for most people to understand and see the value of. But it is very powerful and impacts and interacts with all the other aspects of the Deming management system (psychology, understanding variation and the appreciation of systems thinking). Once we …

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Create Constancy of Purpose

The purpose of creating constancy of purpose is to maximize the benefits to the organization of the other facets of Deming's management system. It is not an end, it is the means to an end.

Alfie Kohn on Systems Thinking, Human Behavior and Education

Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards, No Contest: the Case Against Competition and many other books on human behavior, management and education is the guest on this Deming Podcast. Alfie explains that, as a contrarian, he searched for issues where logic and research suggested certain action while practice differs from those expectations. His research …

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Deming Institute Workshop Oct 6-8 – Leading With A Systems View

Deming Institute Workshop – Leading With A Systems View 6 to 8 October 2015 Tipp City, Ohio, USA The W. Edward Deming Institute® is excited to facilitate a two-and-a-half day workshop to further implement the System of Profound Knowledge in your business. Through small group breakouts, work session and discussions, you will begin to design …

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People Copy Examples and Wonder Why They Don’t Succeed

People copy examples and then they wonder what is the trouble. They look at examples and without theory they learn nothing. W. Edwards Deming in The Deming of America. See a longer quote with more context. We can learn from looking at what others do well. But when we try and copy practices, processes, techniques, …

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What Schools Can Learn from Dr. Deming’s Philosophy by Andrea Gabor

Andrea Gabor authored The Man Who Discovered Quality: How W. Edwards Deming Brought the Quality Revolution to America and has been studying education for years. This webcast shows Andrea’s presentation at the 2014 Annual Deming Conference: What Schools Can Learn from Dr. Deming’s Philosophy. Dr. Deming’s genius was that he combined the rationalistic (thats the …

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Data are not taken for museum purposes; they are taken as a basis for doing something.

Scientific data are not taken for museum purposes; they are taken as a basis for doing something. If nothing is to be done with the data, then there is no use in collecting any. The ultimate purpose of taking data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation for action. The step intermediate …

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Building a Sustainable Organization Using Deming’s Ideas on Management

The linked to article that aims to provides an overview of the essence of Deming’s approach to management and its continuing relevance to managers: The Model of Sustainable Organisation by Alan Clark. A manager, said Deming, is primarily a manager of People. This is in line with many thinkers, teachers and writers on organisations and …

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Cash Incentives Won’t Make Us Healthier by Alfie Kohn

Dr. Deming referred to Alfie Kohn’s work and ideas when he was consulting, giving seminars and in The New Economics. Alfie Kohn will be a keynote speaker at our 1st annual Deming in Education Conference this November 6th to 8th in Seattle, Washington. In this article (and the embedded presentation included below) Alfie Kohn explores …

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Myth: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It

It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.” – W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics. One of the quotes you will see quite frequently “incorrectly” attributed to Dr. Deming is, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I suppose you could say …

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Jim Benson on Applying Deming’s Ideas to Knowledge Work

Jim Benson, founding partner of the Modus Cooperendi and co-author of Personal Kanban is the guest on this Deming Podcast. In the podcast Jim discusses how to apply Deming ideas to knowledge work. I was actively looking for a set of guiding principles around what would create an actual human oriented, self-aware way of managing …

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Why do you hire dead wood? Or why do you hire live wood and kill it?

The common objection to seniority pay is, “It’s rewarding dead wood!” My response is, “Why do you hire dead wood? Or why do you hire live wood and kill it?” Peter Scholtes, The Leader’s Handbook, page 331. Peter worked with Dr. Deming and presented at the 2 day Deming seminars with W. Edwards Deming. You …

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Lasting Quality Philosophy Presentation by Steven Haedrich

View Steven Haedrich’s presentation at the 2014 Fall Conference with the embedded webcast above. Steven, President of New York Label & Box Works, discusses their Deming journey over the decades. Give the power to the people that are doing the job. Give those people the tools they are requesting. Give them the right materials. Put …

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Healthcare, Paradigm Shifts and the Influence of W.E. Deming

Guest post by Mike Stoecklein I’ve been involved with healthcare most of my life. I blogged about my experience in healthcare back in 2011 and described how my “hope level” for improvement in healthcare has gone up and down like a sine-wave pattern over the last 20-30 years. I described this as “I can’t tell …

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First Annual Deming in Education Conference

Join us November 6 to 8 for the First Annual Deming in Education Conference at the Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle, Washington. See the agenda. Hear the stories of leaders who are challenging the status quo to create exceptional learning environments that preserves our children’s natural curiosity and “yearning for learning”. Learn how the systems approach …

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You Burn, I’ll Scrape

our system of make-and-inspect, which if applied to making toast would be expressed: “You burn, I’ll scrape.” Joe Sensennbrer quoting Dr. Deming in his article, Quality Comes to City Hall This wonderful quote highlights Dr. Deming’s ability to use humor and create a simple visual to drive home a point. We can all easily see …

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Photo of Dr. Deming in Greece in 1946

W. Edwards Deming enjoyed meeting the local people during the course of his business travels. This photo was taken in Greece in 1946. We have been posting old photos of Dr. Deming to our Facebook page for throwback Thursdays. Check it out to see more photos of Dr. Deming. See if you can find one …

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Analyzing Data Requires an Understanding of the System Generating the Data

This recent article, Has Uber Forced Taxi Drivers to Step Up Their Game?, explores how competition from Uber has pressured the legacy taxi business to improve customer service. In exploring whether the data supports the idea that there has been an effort to improve customer service the article mentions that complaints about taxis increased in …

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Deming 101: Discover How Amazing Things Happen, by Kelly Allan

"Get out of the motivation business. Create a work environment where people love to come to work and do their work." - Kelly Allan

What Will I Do This Week That Will Still Be Adding Value in a Year?

It is easy to become so busy with work that seems urgent today that you don’t find time for the important-but-not-urgent work. Failing to prioritize the important-but-not-urgent work is a common weakness in business today. To counter this situation you should build into your work system processes to counter the tendency to allow whatever is …

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The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2015 Fall Conference, Sep 18-20

This year The W. Edwards Deming Institute’s conference will be held in September. The theme of the conference is Next Generation Leadership: Disruptive by Design. Join us September 18th to the 20th at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa for the 2015 annual conference. Speakers: Jim Benson, Founding Partner, Modus Cooperandi and Author of Personal …

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All That People Need to Know is Why Their Work is Important

Motivation – nonsense. All that people need to know is why their work is important. W. Edwards Deming, From a speech at General Motors in 1992: Introduction to a System. The Essential Deming We do a great disservice to our organizations when see motivation as the cause of poor results. Your management system should nurture …

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Deming Conference Webcast: Paula Marshall, CEO, The Bama Companies

Paula Marshall, CEO, The Bama Companies presentation at The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2014 annual conference. Her company bakes all the apple pies for McDonalds. When the quality issues were failing to meet McDonalds rising expectations in 1988, she was told to watch a video of “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We” by her contact …

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Adaptation of the 14 Points to Medical Service

Dr. Deming’s 14 points for management have been put into various specific contexts by people over the years. Dr. Paul Batalden and Dr. Loren Vorlicky of the Health Services Research Center translated them into a health care context. Dr. Deming included their work in Out of Crisis, pages 201-202: 6. Restructure training. a. Develop the …

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Using Deming’s Management Ideas at an Auto Repair Company for the Last 30 Years

Louis Altazan, President of AGCO Automotive Corporation discusses the success AGCO has had applying Deming’s management system to their service organization (car repair). Listen to the podcast. Auto repair is basically finding root cause. If you don’t find the root cause, the problem is going to come back. You can’t just go in and make …

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The History and Evolution of the PDSA Cycle

Ron Moen and Clifford Norman wrote a very interesting article on the history of the PDSA cycle: Clearing up myths about the Deming cycle and seeing how it keeps evolving. It is not enough to determine that a change resulted in improvement during a particular test, according to Moen, Nolan and Provost. As you build …

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Find Quotes by W. Edwards Deming (Including the Source)

We have added a new web application for quotes by W. Edwards Deming. We hope this will be of use to people searching for quotes by Dr. Deming. The quotes are viewable by category, such as: leadership, managing people, systems thinking and data. We provide the source for the quotes, when we have sources. For …

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The Importance of Working with Suppliers Over the Long Term

End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust. Point 4 in W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points for management Even today many organizations treat suppliers as adversaries to beat at the …

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Some Statistical Logic in the Management of Quality by W. Edward Deming

W. Edwards Deming wrote Some Statistical Logic in the Management of Quality to fill in some of the missing links in the use of statistical methods, with special reference to responsibilities at the management level for effective mobilization of statistical knowledge and skills. In the paper, he describes statistical control of quality as a system, …

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Deming Podcast with Dr. Bret Champion, Superintendent of the Leander Independent School District

Dr. Bret Champion, Superintendent of the Leander Independent School District (ISD) in Texas joins us for the latest Deming Institute Podcast (download the podcast). Bret discusses Leander ISD’s efforts from the perspective of his 22 year journey as a teacher through his current role. In describing the Leander Way he says [We try to make …

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Discovering Deming: Cultural Evolution at Pluralsight

Keith Sparkjoy – Discovering Deming: Cultural Evolution at Pluralsight from The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2014 Annual Conference. Enjoy Keith Sparkjoy’s presentation at the 2014 W. Edwards Deming Institute conference – Discovering Deming: Cultural Evolution at Pluralsight using the webcast above. Once you understand common cause variation versus special cause variation you spend less time …

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14th Annual In2:InThinking Network Forum June 10-14 in Los Angeles

The 14th Annual In2:InThinking Network Forum (Break the Mold: Aspire, Inspire, Achieve) will be held June 10-14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California, USA (to be hosted by Woodbury University in Burbank). The conference itself begins on Friday, June 12th with Happy Hour at 5pm and dinner at 6pm, followed by a keynote presentation. The program …

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To Achieve Success Focus on Improving the System Not On Individual Performance

A company could put a top man at every position and be swallowed by a competitor with people only half as good, but who are working together. W. Edwards Deming in his last interview: ‘Management Today Does Not Know What Its Job Is.‘ This quote is a wonderful view of Deming’s focus on the organization …

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Deming Podcast with Gordon McGilton

Gordon McGilton, director of a private equity fund with investment in multiple industries, discusses applying Deming’s management ideas at the companies they invest in. (download the podcast). Gordon will be presenting the 4 Day Deming seminar with Heero Hacquebord 27 to 30 April in Columbus, Ohio. Gordon McGilton went to a 4 day seminar but …

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Improving Student Achievement at the Urbandale Community School District

Dr. Doug Stilwell, Superintendent of the Urbandale Community School District discusses applying Deming management methods in education (download the podcast). As Dr. Deming said “The people are not the problem, it’s the system. Doug talks about how many initiatives (from the state legislature and the department of education) he has seen in his 35 year …

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Photos of 2015 International Deming Research Seminar

In 2015 the annual International Deming Research Seminar moved to Georgetown University in Washington DC from the long time home at Fordham University in New York City. A previous post provides 10 lessons Mike Stoecklein learned at the seminar. This post provides a glimpse of the seminar through photos taken by Judy Cahill. I like …

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Deming Institute 4 Day Seminar, 27 to 30 April 2015, Columbus, Ohio

Systems Thinking and Leadership for Owners, Executives, Leaders and Managers 27 to 30 April 2015 Columbus, Ohio Aim: To create leadership excellence that results in significant performance improvement. Register for the seminar Dr. Deming’s philosophy removes barriers, increases efficiencies, reduces wasted time, boosts motivation and provides better insight into what is actually going on in …

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What I Learned at the 21st Annual International Deming Research Summit

Guest post by Mike Stoecklein [broken link removed] I just returned from the 21st Annual International Deming Research Summit. I blogged about that a week ago [broken link removed]. Here are my “top 10″ learnings from that event: 10. Executive Director of the Deming Institute, Kevin Cahill (Dr. Deming’s Grandson) shared several “ah-ha’s” including a …

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Transforming the Organization – Deming Podcast with David Langford

This is the 3rd Deming Institute podcast with David Langford: CEO and Founder of Langford International and Deming Institute Advisory Board member. Download the podcast. David begins by talking about why it is best to focus where you actually can have influence. It doesn’t do much good to worry about the national education system or …

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Quality Beginnings: Deming and Madison, Wisconsin

This post in an excerpt from The Quality Leadership Workbook for Police by Chief David Couper and Captain Sabine Lobitz. While the intense focus on quality movement in the 1980s did not become the dominant way to run an organization like many of us thought it would, it still became one of society’s major influences. …

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Doug Hall on Using Systems Thinking to Power Strategy, Innovation and Growth

In this podcast (download), Doug Hall, CEO and founder of Innovation Engineering and Eureka! Ranch shares his approach for taking Dr. Deming’s ideas systems thinking and applying that to strategy, innovation and growth. Doug shares the story of how his father introduced him to Dr. Deming and systems thinking in the late 1970’s. Doug’s father …

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W. Edwards Deming Videos On Demand

The W. Edwards Deming Institute has made The Deming Library and other videos with Dr. W. Edwards Deming available on demand via the internet. We offer 7 programs to chose from. Dr. Deming’s Four-Day Seminar (1992) This option provides access to 12 hours of Dr. Deming’s lectures and demonstrations from Dr. Deming teaching his famous …

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Creativity Inc. – Using Deming’s Ideas at Pixar

Ed Catmull co-founded Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter. In Ed’s book, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, he discusses how important Deming’s ideas were to his efforts to help make Pixar what it is today. As we struggled to get Pixar off the ground, Deming’s …

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Deming Podcast with Dick Steele, Chairman of Peaker Services

This podcast (download) features Dick Steele, Founder and Chairman of Peaker Services and member of The Deming Institute Board of Trustees. Dick discusses his company’s transformation and their continuing application of the Deming philosophy. Peaker Services remanufactures locomotive engines and designs electrical control systems for large power applications. Dick shares how attending a Dr. Deming’s …

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A Bad System Will Beat a Good Person Every Time

Quote by W. Edwards Deming at a February 1993 Deming Four Day seminar in Phoenix, Arizona (via the notes of Mike Stoecklein). So what was Dr. Deming trying to convey with this quote? It wasn’t an attempt to get people to give up trying because failure was certain. It was a attempt to get people …

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Cooperating with Competitors

W. Edwards Deming included this example of businesses cooperating with competitors in The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education: My automobile, sitting in front of my house, would not start. I called Bill at the Exxon station not far away. When the man from the Exxon station came, I noted that he was in a …

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Deming in Education: Education as a System

In this podcast (download) David Langford becomes the first repeat guest. David is the CEO and founder of Langford International and a Deming Institute Advisory Board member. David continues discussing his thoughts on using Deming’s ideas to improve education. By looking at education as a system and examining what the goals are you find a …

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Peter Drucker Advocated a Ratio of 20 to 1 for CEO to Average Worker Pay

Dr. Deming didn’t directly address executive pay as far as I know. Executives were paid well and without much detrimental impact on companies historically. In the 1980s many CEOs started treating corporate treasuries as personal bank accounts and problems exploded. Peter Drucker had no issue with high and reasonable CEO pay, as things became more …

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Knowledge, Personality, and Persuasive Power

As I use the term here, the job of a leader is to accomplish transformation of his organization. He possesses knowledge, personality, and persuasive power. W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics, page 116 This is a wonderful, succinct quote on the sources of influence available to a leader, and in fact everyone else too. You …

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Keith Sparkjoy on Adopting the Deming Management System at Pluralsight

Keith Sparkjoy, Cofounder and Culture Coach of Pluralsight discusses his “awakening” on their journey to keep Pluralsight’s healthy culture as they rapidly expanded (download the podcast). Keith started by reading Out of the Crisis and thought it would be tough to use that book as a tool to convince his cofounder and CEO that using …

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Quality Comes to City Hall

Out of the Crisis included a couple pages (245-7) that Dr. Deming asked my father to write on the efforts to apply Deming’s management ideas at the City of Madison (the first effort to do so in the public sector as far as I know). This article provides more details on that effort and is …

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Monta Akin on The 20 Year Deming Journey at the Leander Independent School District

Monta Akin, Assistant Superintendent for Leander Independent School District in Leander, Texas joined Tripp Babbitt to record the latest podcast for the Deming Institute. Monta shares the compelling story of Leander Independent School District’s transformation to a Deming based management system. It begins when Monta was first introduced to Deming when she came across the …

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How to Start Applying Deming’s Ideas on Management

There are many different ways to start applying W. Edwards Deming’s ideas on management. There isn’t a cookbook on what should be done first. This is helpful in that you can avoid trying things that would be very difficult given the current state of your management system. However, it is also very challenging in that …

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Deming Podcast with Fred Wambier and Kelly Allan On Applying Deming’s Ideas at Finishing Technology

Fred and Kelly discuss the Deming journey of Finishing Technology, a leader and innovator in metal finishing services and technology.

11 Most Popular Posts on The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog in 2014

Here is a list of the 11 most popular posts on this blog last year (as measured by views counted by our analytics applications). We published our first blog post on October 1st 2012. W. Edwards Deming Called for the Elimination of The Annual Performance Appraisal (2012) We Need to Understand Variation to Manage Effectively …

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Deming Podcast with Bob Mason and Clare Crawford-Mason

In this podcast Bob Mason and Clare Crawford-Mason discuss meeting W. Edwards Deming and creating the NBC white paper – “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” They also discuss the decades of pursuing and promoting Deming’s management ideas, including their work co-creating the 32 volume Deming Library (which is now available from the Deming Institute) …

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Donate to the W. Edwards Deming Institute Scholarship Fund

Guest Post by Jack Hillerich More than 50 years ago, I started working in our family business, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., maker of the Louisville Slugger® baseball bat. It was the early 1960’s and I had just graduated from Vanderbilt University. I was 21. When my father passed away in 1969, I was suddenly promoted …

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On the Use of Theory

On the Use of Theory is an article W. Edwards Deming published in 1956. It is one of many of his papers we have posted on our web site. Though 58 years old the ideas in the article are very useful today and yet many organizations still have not applied these ideas in their management …

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Photos from the 2014 Annual Deming Institute Conference

Here are a few of the photos taken by Judy Cahill at The W. Edwards Deming Institute Conference this year. See many more photos in The W. Edwards Deming Institute photo albums.

One-Piece-Flow Projects Create the Best Conditions for True Creativity

Guest post by Michael Ballé (repost from his Gemba Coach column on Lean.org) Dear Gemba Coach, For product development you need creative (maybe even chaotic) people. Are those people suited to follow such a structured method as lean? Like trying to achieve one-piece-flow in product development? Thank you. What an interesting question! As a writer …

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Minimal Viable Product

Minimal Viable Product is an important concept. The idea is to learn from customers (users) using the product/service as soon as possible. Having customers direct experience available as soon as possible allows those designing and creating the product to learn as early as possible from those customers. The idea with MVP is to speed up …

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Baking Apple Pies Using the Deming Management System

Paula Marshall, the CEO of the Bama Companies, discusses her adoption of Deming principles at Bama Companies. In the podcast she discusses going to see a Dr. Deming 4 day seminar in 1990 and then working with him for 3 years on bringing new management thinking to the Bama Companies. And she continues with the …

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Effective Decision Making

We want to chose the best strategy. However, as the image by Randal Monroe (xkcd comic) shows we need to consider the whole system. It isn’t helpful to spend more effort to chose between two options than the difference between them offers. However we can be drawn into such behavior by the management system and …

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Dr. Deming’s Work Papers at the Library of Congress

Much of Dr. Deming’s work is housed and available at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The Library of Congress made a formal request for Dr. Deming’s professional papers soon after his death. They were donated by The W. Edwards Deming Institute and are available from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. …

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Using Deming’s Management Methods to Enhance the Application of Taguchi’s Ideas

In this episode of The W. Edward Deming Institute Podcast (download) Bill Bellows discusses Genichi Taguchi, Ackoff, Deming and the efforts to use their idea to improve organizations. Bill is Associate Fellow in the InThinking Network at Aerojet Rocketdyne. Bill also serves as a board member of the W. Edwards Deming Institute. Quote from the …

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To Copy is to Invite Disaster

Dr. Deming explained the dangers of copying from other organizations: “To copy is to invite disaster.” (page 10 of The New Economics). The proper corse of action depends on the system. This, like so much of Deming’s advice, relates to understanding the organization as a system. A Deming management view requires thinking about relationships, psychology, …

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Submit an Abstract for the 21st Annual International Deming Research Seminar

The 21st Annual International Deming Research Seminar will be held in Washington DC, 23 and 24 March 2015. The first 20 seminars were held at Fordham University in New York City, before the move to Georgetown University for 2015. The W. Edwards Deming Institute is seeking research papers from diverse perspectives, businesses, organizations and industries …

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The System Will Produce What It’s Capable of Producing

Which brings us to response time targets. Putting aside the arguments that numerical targets are arbitrary and prone to causing dysfunctional behaviour*, a critical further point is that targets do not provide a method. Neither do they provide additional capacity for achieving the improvements sought. Therefore, setting an arbitrary numerical target for response times (or anything else), simply does not change anything about those systems conditions that dictate predictable levels of performance. The system will produce what it’s capable of producing, whether the target is there or not.

2014 Deming Prize Awardees

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) has announced the 2014 Deming Prize winners. The companies awarded the Deming Prize this year are: GC America (USA) Sekiso Corporation (Japan) Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, Mahindra Powerol Business (India) An organization based in USA received a Deming Prize for only the 2nd time since 2000; also …

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Bob Browne Discusses His Experience Applying Deming’s Ideas as a CEO

Bob Browne is the former CEO of the Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company and soon to be author of a new book, The Sys-Tao Way, that outlines his application of the Deming Philosophy. In the most recent Deming Institute podcast, Bob discusses his experience applying the Deming philosophy at the Great Plains Coca Cola …

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Outdated Management Practices Don’t Die Off Easily

The following quote was provided by Eric Budd During the meeting, our division president asked Dr. Deming, “Is there hope for GM?” Dr. Deming’s reply: “Sometimes you have to wait for people to die. Eric Budd‘s comment In attempting to understand why he might say something like this, I ran across this quote, ‘A new …

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Dr. Deming Video: Managing the Organization as a System

In this short video clip from The Deming Library (volume 14 – Understanding Profound Knowledge) Dr. Deming discusses the importance of understanding the inter-dependence within a system. This idea is fairly easy to accept. But to manage in a way that focuses on improving the entire system instead of improving sub-processes within a system independently …

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The Birth of Lean

The Birth of Lean is an valuable book from the Lean Enterprise Institute. It collects the thoughts of those leading and working with the Toyota Production System in the early days: Taiichi Ohno, Eiji Toyoda, Michikazu Tanaka, Kikuo Suzumura and others. The book doesn’t talk about Dr. Deming directly but provides great thoughts from those …

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Deming Today: Leander Texas Independent School District

The Leander Texas Independent School District (LISD) has been applying Dr. Deming’s ideas to education for years with guidance from David Langford. One of the sections of The W. Edwards Deming Institute website provides views of organizations efforts to apply Deming’s ideas today. Here is an excerpt from the report on the efforts at the …

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Deming Podcast: The Deming Journey at New York Label & Box Works

In this episode of the Deming Podcast (download), Steven Haedrich, President of New York Label & Box Works, talks about the Deming journey at the company. Steven also talks about the relevance of the Deming teachings today and the keys to long-term success using the Deming method. Steven Haedrich: I knew performance appraisals were useless …

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People Take Time to Believe Claims of Changed Management Practices

This post continues with some thoughts prompted by the Read Bed Experiment Lessons post. Another aspect the Red Bead Experiment can’t replicate is the long term impact of working in a system that frustrates your desire to do great work. The importance of what happens to people in such a situation is under appreciated. I …

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image of quote by Dr. Deming "Best efforts are essential. Unfortunately, best efforts, people charging this way and that way without guidance of principles, can do a lot of damage."

Too Many People Putting Forth Their Best Efforts

In this clip from volume 14, Understanding Profound Knowledge, of the Deming Library, W. Edward Deming discusses the problem with people putting forth their best efforts. Deming theorem #2 We are being ruined by people putting forth their best efforts. Brian Joiner quoted Dr. Deming as follows: Best efforts are not enough, you have to …

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Deming Podcast: Andrea Gabor on Management at Ford, GM and the USA Education System

In this episode of The W. Edward Deming Institute Podcast (download) Andrea Gabor begins by discussing her book The Man Who Discovered Quality: How W. Edwards Deming Brought the Quality Revolution to America – The Stories of Ford, Xerox, and GM. And then she discusses her passion for education and how to improve the education …

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Each Person Doing What They Are Told Isn’t Enough

The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they were taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management. W. Edwards Deming, Out of the …

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What Would Deserve a Raise Within the Deming Management Context?

Response to a question on the Deming Institute LinkedIn group: let’s say Dr. Deming wanted to sit down with his boss to negotiate a compensation increase. What grounds would he use to justify the request? I believe he would explain how the value he brought to the system was worth a raise. For example, a …

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Four Days with Dr. Deming

W. Edwards Deming is remembered for many things; one of those touchstones was the Deming Four Day seminar. Those 4-day seminars changed the lives of many people. And many of those people went on to change their organizations and the lives of those working there. Scott M. Paton wrote a short article on his experience, …

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A Blog Following the Management of Finishing Technology Using Deming’s Ideas

Fred Warmbier, owner of Finishing Technology (based outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA), and Kelly Allan are writing a blog on the New York Times exploring how Deming’s management ideas are put into practice at Finishing Technology. A comment Fred posted to the blog (The New York Times choses to have urls not show the comment …

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Submit Abstracts for the 21st Annual International Deming Research Seminar

The 21st Annual International Deming Research Seminar will be held in Washington DC, 23 and 24 March 2015. The first 20 seminars were held at Fordham University in New York City, before the move to Georgetown University for 2015. The W. Edwards Deming Institute is seeking research papers from diverse perspectives, businesses, organizations and industries …

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Deming Podcasts #4: Dan Robertson Discusses His Deming Journey

In this episode of The W. Edward Deming Institute Podcast (download) Tripp Babbitt interviews Dan Robertson. Dan serves on the advisory board of The W. Edwards Deming Institute and is the co-chair of the 2014 Deming Institute Fall Conference. Dan co-authored Deming’s Profound Changes with Kenneth Delavigne. In discussing his experience at HP applying Deming’s …

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Thinking Required – Not Just a Recipe to Follow

One of the most powerful aspects of Deming’s management ideas also frustrate some people. Dr. Deming didn’t believe in simple guides telling managers what to do – his ideas are not prescriptive. The challenges of management don’t lend themselves to simple instructions spelling out exactly what steps managers need to take. What managers need to …

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Effort Without the Right Knowledge and Strategy is Often Wasted

Best efforts are essential. Unfortunately, best efforts, people charging this way and that way without guidance of principles, can do a lot of damage. W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis, page 19 There are many great quotes from Dr. Deming and this is one of my favorite. To create effective organization we need management …

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Deming Podcasts #3: David Langford on Improving Education

In this episode of The W. Edward Deming Institute Podcast, Tripp Babbitt interviews David Langford. David serves on the advisory board of the Institute and is the CEO and founder of Langford International. David discusses using Deming’s ideas to improve the education system in this edition of the Deming Institute podcast series (download). You can …

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Guided by Theory Not Figures

Managers must make decisions when data is unavailable or even impossible to collect. A simple example is training. The only immediate evidence is its cost, expense. The effect of training will not be realized for months or even years in the future. Moreover, the effect can not be measured. Then why does a company spend …

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Deming Podcast #2: Kelly Allan Discussing the 2 1/2 Day Seminar

Kelly discusses the 2 1/2 day seminar and the current activities of the Institute, including Deming seminars in the far east, the new web site, and The Deming Files.

The W. Edward Deming Institute Launches a New Podcast Series

The W. Edward Deming Institute is pleased to announce the Deming Podcast. We created a new Twitter account specifically for the podcasts: @DemingPodcast (our main Twitter account is @DemingInstitute). In Deming podcast episode number one (download) moderator Tripp Babbitt interviews Kevin Cahill, the President of The W. Edwards Deming Institute and the grandson or Dr. …

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Sourced Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

Dr. Deming was very quotable. There are a great number of wonderful quotes. They capture ideas well and are powerful. Without context though quotes can be mis-interpreted. And without context they lose much of the power they have when understood within the management system Dr. Deming had in mind. I have been working on compiling …

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The W. Edwards Deming Institute 2014 Fall Conference, Oct 16-19

The W. Edwards Deming Institute® 2014 Fall Conference will be held at Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, California. The theme for this years conference is Innovation for Success: creating a foundation for leading in business and education. Annual Fall Conference October 17 – 19, 2014 Pre-Conference Session on Education and Quality Learning October 16 …

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Deming Library Video with Dr. Deming Discussing the 14 Points

The clip above begins with Dr. Deming discussing a facet of the Deming chain reaction: With better quality and lower costs you can capture the market with better quality and lower price. It will help you to stay in business, provide jobs, and more jobs. These clips are taken from the Deming Starter Library on …

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The Principles and Methods for Improvement are the Same in Manufacturing and Service Companies

All that we learned about the 14 points and the diseases of management applies to service organizations, as well as manufacturing. In this chapter we focus on service organizations. A system of quality improvement is helpful to anyone that turns out a product or is engaged in service, or in research, and wishes to improve …

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Using Deming’s Management Ideas to Reduce Violence in Prison

In the last post we began to look at the efforts to improve the Maine State Prison. The efforts to adopt a management strategy and practices guided by an understanding of Dr. Deming’s management system are hampered by the overall management system. This is a common situation. The current state could best be seen as …

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Applying Deming’s Management Ideas at the Maine State Prison

Jon Parker learned about Deming’s management ideas while serving in the United States Navy. The Navy had a huge effort to use Deming’s ideas (under the Total Quality Leadership) in order to improve performance, especially during the 1980’s and 1990’s. After leaving the Navy Jon went to work at the maximum security Maine State Prison …

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Sustainability as National Imperative

Mark ‘Puck’ Mykleby, USMC Colonel (Ret.), Senior Fellow, New America Foundation and co-author of A National Strategic Narrative. Mark provided a very large global systems view of where we are and the future we face. From the largest macro systems risks can be seen to the national security of the USA (and all other countries). …

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Application of Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge in Healthcare

This paper discusses the Healthcare Value Network’s Shingo-based assessment process (which has Deming-based principles) and provides examples of application from some of the Healthcare Value Network member organizations.

Brian Joiner Discussing His Career

In a previous post, Approaching Sustainability Using Deming’s Thinking, where you see Brian Joiner in the video (he and Andrew KcKeon were on the same panel). In this video Brian discusses his career including how he meet Dr. Deming and some personal anecdotes. I like, and share his sentiment in the following quote, at the …

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Knowledge About Psychology for Managers, from Dan Ariely

One of the four cornerstones of Dr. Deming’s management system is an understanding of psychology. Dr. Deming continued to learn and adapt based on the latest research and what to continually improve his ideas on management. To stay true to his vision, we need to continually improve our understanding based on new knowledge. Dan Ariely, …

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Approaching Sustainability Using Deming’s Thinking

Excerpt from panel discussion on Deming and Sustainability with Andrew KcKeon at the 2013 Deming Institute Fall Conference. Andrew mentions Clayton Christensen’s work with the innovators dilemma which I also think is very worthwhile. Andrew also says: Systems thinking and addressing sustainability is the end of externalities. Because what it says is those aren’t external, …

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Deming Seminar in Hong Kong, 12 to 14 June 2014

The W. Edwards Deming Institute is presenting our 2 1/2 day seminar, The Deming Management Method for Owners and Executives in Hong Kong from 12 to 14 June 2014. The host for the Hong Kong seminar is the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency. Enjoy early bird rate if register before 31 March 2014. Read more …

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Lessons From the Red Bead Experiment with Dr. Deming

The lessons that can be illustrated using the Red Bead experiment are too many to include in this post. But we can touch on a few of the ideas. The value of the Red Bead Experiment is to provide focus to your thinking. It is hard to believe what the full Red Bead Experiment is …

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The Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming

The Red Bead Experiment is an activity Dr. Deming included in his 4 day seminars. The webcast shows excerpts of Dr. Deming carry out the Red Bead Experiment with participants from the audience. Dr. Deming used the Red Bead Experiment to clearly and dramatically illustrate several points about poor management practices. This includes the fallacy …

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20th Annual International Deming Research Seminar, 3-4 March 2014 in New York City

The 20th Annual International Deming Research Seminar will be held 3-4 March 2014 at Fordham University in New York City. Experts in healthcare and education, as well as practitioners in government, manufacturing, and service industries will share their ideas and explore their results applying Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s theory of management. Academics and practitioners will …

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Management of USA Apparel Operations is a Huge Barrier to Production in the USA

Randy Harward spoke at the 2013 Deming Institute annual conference about his experience with applying Deming’s management ideas at Patagonia. Low energy costs in the USA are a significant factor driving companies to consider moving apparel production to the USA. Energy costs have decreased in the USA (driven by excess supplies of natural gas driving …

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Standard Work Instructions are Continually Improved; They are not a Barrier to Improvement

When people first learn of standard work within the Deming context (or lean manufacturing or the other flavors of management with some process focus) they often fear it means following outdated processes that are ineffective. I believe this is because, if they have experience with standards, that experience was a bad experience. They likely suffered …

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Process Thinking at Patagonia

Randy Harward spoke at the 2013 Deming Institute annual conference on applying Deming management methods and sustainability and Patagonia. It was better because designers and developers went from being just people who bought things, and marketed them, to people who had to understand and solve problems throughout the whole process. They became process engineers, every …

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Applying Deming’s Management Thinking at Patagonia

Randy Harward spoke at the 2013 Deming Institute annual conference on applying Deming management methods and sustainability and Patagonia. I was hired to take care of this huge volume of returns coming back from customers, we had so many quality problems. I was managing customer service and all the systems required to handle this huge …

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Employee Involvement at Western Mountaineering

Randy Harward spoke at the 2013 Deming Institute annual conference on applying Deming management methods at Western Mountaineering and Patagonia. Western Mountaineering was facing a cash flow crisis when Randy Harward took over and he strongly considered closing down. Given the problems the “only way out of the situation was to increase turns” (increase how …

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The Futility of a Numerical Goal

Guest post by Tim Higgins In discussions about goals, I typically find attempts to create two distinct categories of goals. I see the words “arbitrary goals.” Arbitrary numerical goals are believed to be bad, problematic. Some numerical goals the non-arbitrary type are believed to be useful, good, even necessary. I could find no evidence Deming …

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Support of Top Management is Not Sufficient

Support of top management is not sufficient. It is not enough that top management commit themselves for life to quality and productivity. They must know what it is that they are committed to — that is, what they must do. These obligations can not be delegated. Support is not enough: action is required. – W. …

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Knowledge About Variation

Plot data over time In this segment of Ian Bradbury’s talk at the 2013 W. Edwards Deming Institute conference he discusses variation and using the control chart to aid improvement efforts. This last point went outside the control limits so it is a signal of special cause. For that particular point it makes sense to …

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Deming 101: Understanding Systems

In this segment of Ian Bradbury’s talk at the 2013 W. Edwards Deming Institute conference he looks at how your view of the system effects what solutions seem reasonable. If you only view part of the system the solutions you come to can often have negative consequences. And often those consequences are pushed off in …

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Learning from Other Schools of Management Thought

The Lean Enterprise Institute has published webcasts of discussions with James Womack, Dan Jones and John Shook exploring reflections on 25 years of lean which I think are quite good. This excerpt looks at learning from other communities of interest and ideas used by the lean startup. I agree with the idea that different management …

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Deming 101: Theory of Knowledge and the PDSA Improvement and Learning Cycle

This webcast continues Ian Bradbury’s Deming 101 presentation looking at the Theory of Knowledge and the PDSA Learning Cycle. Commenting on Deming’s presentation of the PDSA (plan-do-study-act) cycle in 1951 Ian says It is articulated as a learning cycle. A learning cycle in which you are trying to build both knowledge of customer value and …

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Deming 101 with Ian Bradbury

This is the first webcast excerpt from the 2013 Annual conference of The W. Edwards Deming Institute we have posted. This is from Ian Bradbury’s presentation: Deming 101. This is a system [of management] and within each of these areas there are powerful ideas but a large part of the value of this comes in …

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