Deming on Management: Innovation

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.

Dr. Deming’s thoughts on the importance of innovation are often overlooked.

There are four prongs of quality and four ways to improve quality of product and service:

– Innovation in product and service
– Innovation in process
– Improvement of existing product and service
– Improvement of existing process

The common mistake is the supposition that quality is ensured by No. 4, improvement of process, that operations going off without blemish on the factory floor, in the bank, in the hotel will ensure quality. Good operations are essential, yet they do not ensure quality. Quality is made in the boardroom.

“The Need to Change”, W. Edwards Deming, 1989. Reprinted on page 41 of The Essential Deming.

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image of Deming quote "he moral is that it is necessary to innovate, to predict needs of the customer, give him more. He that innovates and is lucky will take the market."

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