Appreciation for a System

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

By Matthew Moss / September 3, 2014 / 0 Comments

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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The Red Bead Experiment with Dr. W. Edwards Deming

By Matthew Moss / February 25, 2014 / 0 Comments

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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What to Do When Individual Performance is Exceptional (outside normal variation)

By Matthew Moss / September 4, 2013 / 0 Comments

W. Edwards Deming wrote that most of the results are due to the system and blaming people for those results was not effective. He also wrote that sometimes employees were outside control limits (evidence of a special cause existed). When those employees were failing to do their jobs adequately they need special help (often they […]

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Attributing Fault to the Person Without Considering the System

By Matthew Moss / August 5, 2013 / 0 Comments

Fundamental attribution error: attribute fault or defect to the individual without first considering the systemic effect. When we fall into this trap the system is not improved. What we want to do is when we find poor results is think about how the system can be improved to consistently produce better results. By using management […]

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Improving Problem Solving

By Matthew Moss / June 27, 2013 / 0 Comments

I suggest reading this excellent paper on Improving Problem Solving by Ian Bradbury and Gipsie Ranney. As they note, problem solving is not a substitute for innovation and improvement as solving a problem solving only returns you to the status quo. The paper also considers the relationship between problem solving and system improvement. Their paper […]

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The Development of Deming’s Management System

By Matthew Moss / June 3, 2013 / 0 Comments

Jan 24 1989 – first presentation of Deming’s “System of Profound Knowledge” Knowledge of variation; statistical theory Knowledge of the distinction between common causes and special causes Knowledge about the loss from tampering Knowledge about the interaction of forces Knowledge of operational definitions Knowledge psychology Knowledge of cooperation and its benefits It is interesting to […]

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The Idea of Performance Rating to Capture Merit is Alluring

By Matthew Moss / February 11, 2013 / 1 Comment

The merit rating nourishes short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes teamwork, [and] nourishes rivalry and politics. It leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected, feeling inferior, some even depressed, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior. It is unfair, as it ascribes […]

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The Essential Deming – New Book on Dr. Deming’s Work

By Matthew Moss / December 6, 2012 / 0 Comments

The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality is filled with articles, papers, lectures, and notes touching on a wide range of topics, but which focus on Deming’s overriding message: quality and operations are all about systems, not individual performance; the system has to be designed so that the worker can perform well. […]

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Eliminate Sales Commissions: Reject Theory X Management and Embrace Systems Thinking

By Matthew Moss / November 1, 2012 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). Dr. Deming explained that paying sales commissions to staff introduced distortions into the organization that damaged overall performance. Each topic has different connections to Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, as he laid it out in The New Economics. The problems […]

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Dr. Deming Called for the Elimination of The Annual Performance Appraisal

By Matthew Moss / October 29, 2012 / 4 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of the CuriousCat.com. In Out of the Crisis, page 101, Dr. Deming states the following as one of the seven deadly diseases: Evaluation of performance, merit rating, or annual review… The idea of a merit rating is alluring. the sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what […]

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