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Deming Today explores how the theories and teachings of Dr. Deming are currently being put into practice by organizations in the US and around the world. What are their transformative experiences like? What challenges did they face along the way? What can a path of continual improvement lead to for a business, nonprofit, school, or government agency? Evolutionary or revolutionary, the stories, articles and blogs presented in Deming Today provide examples to inspire and encourage you and your organization to take the bold and often courageous steps in embracing and applying the Deming philosophy in your business or organization.

An Interview with Donald J. Wheeler (2011)

See the full Interview with Donald J. Wheeler by Dirk Dusharme

So, whether we call it the Shewhart cycle, the Deming cycle, [plan-do-check-act] PDCA, [plan-do-study-act] PDSA, or [define, measure, analyze, improve, control] DMAIC, Deming’s ideas are found at the heart of every effective improvement effort. Such ideas, like all profound truths, are eternally valid.

This also applies to the analysis of data. Since process behavior charts serve as an operational definition of how to get the most out of any process, they remain the foundation for successful process improvement. They work by highlighting those places and times when your process is changing, so that you can focus on these periods of change and discover the forces that affect your process.

Deming Institute Blog Post on The Capacity Matrix

A Powerful Tool: The Capacity Matrix

One of the things that I learned about at that seminar was using a capacity matrix to improve student learning. It is one of those ideas that when you hear about it, immediately you realize this is a vastly superior method to those current used. I am cynical/experienced enough to know that just because much better methods are available, and explained to people, is no guaranty they will be used.

read our full blog post.

Thinking Together About Thinking Tools & Processes (conference call 12 Nov 2015)

Tim Higgins will present on Thursday, November 12th, 2015, from 11:30-1pm Pacific Time on the topic of "Thinking Together About Thinking Tools & Processes."
Beginning in 1995, InThinking Roadmap efforts have combined thinking tools from Edward De Bono with the rational thinking processesof Kepner-Tregoe, coupled with robust design concepts from Genichi Taguchi, and systems awareness from Barry Oshry and Russ Ackoff, all built upon a foundation of Dr. Deming's System of Profound Knowledge. In so doing, the efforts acknowledge the advantage of the efficiency of tools and processes, guided by Profound Knowledge.
Rudy Hernandez _L_ and Tim Higgins _R_
Following on his 2014 session, Tim will share his thoughts on the  contrast between the use of Russ Ackoff's model of Idealized Design(creating the future) and the use of cause networks (an analysis of the past).  Says Tim, "While studying the past can be informative and is likely a necessary condition for restoring the system to its normal condition, the objective is to return to the status quo.  Problem Analysis will not improve the current system.  Idealized Design aims at improving the status quo, with a focus on the future."
As for his background, Tim (right, with Rudy Hernandez), has been working for the past six years as a System and Mission Assurance Specialist representing NASA's interests on the J-2X and RS-25 liquid fuel rocket engines designed and manufactured for NASA by AR in Canoga Park. His NASA management in Huntsville, Alabama, told him his job was to make Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) better. He works in partnership with the AR's InThinking Network, offering courses that are along An InThinking Roadmap. In partnership with AR's integrated product teams and program management, he facilitates team member efforts aimed at better understanding cause-effect relationships, processes, improvement potentials, and risks. 

In addition, Tim is fascinated by the implications of quantum physics - inseparability of the observer from the thing observed, particle wave duality, entanglement - especially when extended beyond the realm of the very small. He has managed to play the beautiful game (futebol) for the last forty-six years and at the same time invest twenty-nine years as a Rocketdyne employee and eight years as a high school math and English teacher.

Link here to register to attend InThinking Network November webinar with Tim. 

Micromanage Processes, Not People

Micromanage Processes, Not People by Rob Miller 

we should be using our current assessments only as a means to identify flaws in our educational processes. If we used them effectively (to correct PROCESS defects), we would no longer have to rely on mass assessments of PEOPLE, because QUALITY would be infused in all organizational practices.


By focusing on fixing the teacher, we might cause them to improve, but we will be right back at square one when the next new teacher arrives.

By fixing the process, all new teachers coming to the school in the future will reap the benefits of a more supportive culture and experience a higher level of success and job satisfaction.

Rob Miller

Rob Miller

Related posts on our blog: How Did We Do on the Test?, Attributing Fault to the Person Without Considering the System, I read them. Not to grade them. No, I read them to see how I am doing." W. Edwards Deming

Meeting Specifications Versus Seeking Continual Improvement

On the one hand, we have approaches that regard quality merely in terms of conformance to requirements, meeting specifications, and zero defects. On the other hand, we have Deming’s demand for continual improvement—a never-ending fight to reduce variation. The probability approach can only cope with the former. Shewhart’s own work was inspired by the need for the latter.

read the full article, Shewhart and the Probability Approach by Don Wheeler and Henry Neave

Applying Dr. Deming’s Ideas at the Lakeville Public School System

Lisa SnyderDr. Lisa Snyder, Superintendent of the Lakeville Public Schools shares how the work of Dr. Deming is influencing her as a superintendent and the rewards and challenges of adopting his philosophies in the latest Deming podcast.

Lisa will be speaking at the First Annual Deming in Education Conference next week.

Read our blog post on her podcast.

Follow @DemingPodcast on Twitter.


How Do You Know?

It is simply foolish to begin to spend time and money on a new police improvement measure without knowing where you stand in the first place; where your baseline is. Otherwise, you will never be able to honestly answer the critical question that will surely come from your community members, “How do you know what you have just made a major expenditure of time and money is effective?” In short, “How do you know?”

 David Couper chief of police.David Couper wrote the above words in his blog post about using Deming's ideas to help improve policing: How Do You Know?

David wrote a guest post on The W. Edwards Deming Institute blog previously: Quality Beginnings: Deming and Madison, Wisconsin.  Dr. Deming includes a few pages on the efforts within the city government  of Madison, Wiconsin to apply Deming's ideas in Out of the Crisis.




InThinking Network conference call: A Tribute to Myron Tribus

Aerojet Rocketdyne's InThinking Network welcomes Friends and Family of Myron Tribus, from across the US and UK, to lead our tenth Ongoing Discussion conference call of 2015 on October 29th and 30th and also our 190th session since we began in January 2000.   As for a topic, we have selected "A Tribute to Myron Tribus" as the focus of our conversation with them.   
I almost met Myron when he visited Aerojet Rocketdyne (then a division of Rockwell International) in the Summer of 1995, when he was invited to speak at our National Management Association chapter dinner.   In a style of exploration I came to appreciate, Myron asked to be taken on a "walk" through our entire facility, starting with Receiving and ending with Shipping.   Later that night, as the after-dinner speaker, he gave his impressions, pulling no punches, which was also his style.   While I was on business travel during this visit, I have an audio tape of this session, which I will post when I find it in my archives.   Link here if you would like to be notified when it is available for use. 
Continue reading on the InThinking Network newsletter

Deming Blog: Why Copying Practices From Other Organizations Doesn't Work

New post on the W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog - People Copy Examples and Wonder Why They Don’t Succeed

People copy examples and then they wonder what is the trouble. They look at examples and without theory they learn nothing.

W. Edwards Deming, in The Deming of America

Experience Often Teaches You The Wrong Lessons

Kelly Allan

New Blog post from Kelly Allan: How One Leader Learned That Experience Often Teaches You The Wrong Lessons

I introduced you to Bob Geis in an earlier post.  He is the guy who has figured out how to run a government office efficiently and entrepreneurially. Before becoming an entrepreneur in a bureaucracy, Geis worked in the private sector –and he did not like much of what he experienced there, either...