process thinking

The History and Evolution of the PDSA Cycle

By deming / May 28, 2015 / 0 Comments

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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The Importance of Working with Suppliers Over the Long Term

By deming / May 18, 2015 / 0 Comments

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

By deming / April 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

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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Quality Beginnings: Deming and Madison, Wisconsin

By Guest Post / March 20, 2015 / 0 Comments

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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Cooperating with Competitors

By deming / February 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

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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How to Start Applying Deming’s Ideas on Management

By deming / January 20, 2015 / 0 Comments

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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On the Use of Theory

By deming / December 3, 2014 / 0 Comments

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

By Guest Post / November 20, 2014 / 0 Comments

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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The System Will Produce What It’s Capable of Producing

By Guest Post / October 13, 2014 / 1 Comment

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.

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The Birth of Lean

By deming / 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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