Deming Philosophy

Empty classroom with desks facing a teacher's lectern, desk, and blackboard.

Are Best Efforts Ruining Education?

By Christina Dragonetti / May 16, 2022 / 0 Comments

In this guest post, Taylor Lux views the American education system through the Deming lens, finding significant shortfalls in spite of educators’ best efforts.

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How to Improve Employee Morale and Engagement

By John Hunter / May 9, 2022 / 0 Comments

The way to improve morale and engagement is to improve the work. Eliminate things that drive workers crazy by making their work more difficult and by creating work that should never have to be done if the system were designed better. (Guest post by John Hunter.)

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Our Only Hope

By Guest Post / April 5, 2022 / 2 Comments

Guest post by Dr. Doug Stilwell, Assistant Professor Drake University: Now more than ever, I wish Dr. Deming was still with us, for even at age 64 I have so many burning questions I’d like to ask him, driven by the extreme frustration I feel about the “state of things” in our world.

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The words Plan Do Study and Act are in four quadrants of a circle with arounds pointing around each quadrant toward the next in a clockwise direction.

From “Too Tight” to “Just Right:” Improving Staff Meetings Using PDSA

By Christina Dragonetti / March 18, 2022 / 0 Comments

Our team had a common problem: weekly staff meetings were disorganized, a little frustrating, and almost always lasted longer than one hour. Like ill-fitting shoes, they served to keep our feet dry but made running difficult. Recognizing a change was needed, we turned to the process improvement tool devised by Dr. Deming: Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA).

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Knowing What Your Customers Think Requires Proactive Effort

By John Hunter / December 19, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). Don’t think customers will let you know if there are problems. Some will, most won’t. Even internal customers are often quiet. Learning the voice of the customer requires proactive effort. Doing so also requires designing your organization to seek out […]

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Confusing Improving A Proxy Measure with Actually Improving the System

By John Hunter / December 7, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. Using data to access and guide improvement efforts is extremely useful. Data must be used appropriately, however. Thought must be given to understand the systems being studied and what the data actually indicates. It is easy to be misled if you are not […]

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Deming on Management: Data

By John Hunter / November 10, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). This post is part of our Deming on Management series that aims to provide resources to help those transforming their management system to one based on Deming’s management ideas. Many people link Deming’s management ideas to only the use of […]

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Managers Must Understand that Blaming Employees Doesn’t Help

By John Hunter / October 5, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of CuriousCat.com. Often when problems occur, we seek to figure out who is to blame for the problem. This is not an effective management strategy as Dr. Deming made clear, and I have discussed before: Attributing Fault to the Person Without Considering the System, Distorting the System, Distorting the […]

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Avoiding Fires Rather Than Fighting Fires

By John Hunter / August 11, 2021 / 1 Comment

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). In order to build strong companies that are resilient and able to prosper even in challenging times, it is best to create reliable and robust systems. It is easy to be misled by what is flashy if we don’t think […]

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The Existing Management Conditions Limit How Effective New Strategies Will Be

By John Hunter / June 28, 2021 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). Over time, I have learned that one of the challenges in implementing Deming and Ackoff’s ideas are the underlying expectations for the organizations that are missing. What happens is, people take ideas from Ackoff and Deming and decide that using […]

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