Understanding Variation

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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