Improvement is a Learning Process

By John Hunter, founder of

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 they realize that the reason for the success is not really tools but their ability to learn and adapt and continually improve. The tools are methods that often help the learning process.

George Box put it this way, The Art of Discovery (in video found by following the link)

It really amounts to this, if you know more about what it is you are doing then you can do it better and you can do it cheaper.

I think the quality revolution is nothing more, or less, than the dramatic expansion of the of scientific problem solving using informed observation and directed experimentation to find out more about the process, the product and the customer.

Improved results become the confirmation that what you thought you learned was applied effectively. If results don’t improve then go back and study if what you thought you learned was incorrect or was applied improperly.

Related: We are Here to Learn, to Make a Difference and to Have FunDr. Deming on LeadershipLearn by Seeking Knowledge, Not Just from Mistakes

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