Continual Improvement

Baking Apple Pies Using the Deming Management System

By David Zack / November 13, 2014 / 0 Comments

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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The Birth of Lean

By David Zack / September 22, 2014 / 0 Comments

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

By David Zack / January 28, 2014 / 0 Comments

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(or lean manufacturing or the other flavors of management with some process focus) they often fear it means following outdated processes that are ineffective.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

By David Zack / January 20, 2014 / 0 Comments

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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Support of Top Management is Not Sufficient

By David Zack / December 23, 2013 / 0 Comments

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

By David Zack / December 3, 2013 / 0 Comments

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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Improvement is a Learning Process

By David Zack / September 30, 2013 / 0 Comments

Improvement of Quality and Productivity, to be successful in any company, must be a learning process, year by year, top management leading the whole company. W. Edwards Deming page 139, Out of the Crisis Understanding the importance of learning is often one sign of the maturity of the improvement effort. As organizations have more success […]

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Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System

By David Zack / May 13, 2013 / 0 Comments

In Fourth Generation Management (I highly recommend this book, by the way), Brian Joiner provided an excellent summary of the options to get better “results” (as measured by the data used). The options are to: distort the system distort the data improve the system Obviously we hope to improve the system; and we would like […]

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The Demands of the Enterprise on the Worker

By David Zack / May 2, 2013 / 0 Comments

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004). From The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker, The Demands of the Enterprise on the Worker (page 268): The enterprise must expect of the worker not the passive acceptance of a physical chore, but the active assumption of responsibility for […]

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Deming’s 14 Points for Management

By David Zack / April 15, 2013 / 0 Comments

Dr. Deming included the 14 points for management in Out of the Crisis. The 14 points provide some specific obligations that managers adopting a Deming management system must follow. Over time Dr. Deming realized these points were not as effective at communicating his management system and he favored using the system of profound knowledge (SoPK) […]

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