Deming Bio

W. Edwards Deming
The Life and Lessons

W. Edwards Deming may be the most influential management thinker of all time. He was credited with turning around major companies and whole nations. Trained as a mathematical physicist with a PhD from Yale University his career spanned seven decades during which he was an internationally respected physicist; a world renowned statistician and expert in sampling; the preeminent quality expert in the world and a profound thinker in management who revolutionized management thinking and practice in Japan and the West. His mathematical precision, understanding of statistics and the role of theory in science were matched with deep compassion and an understanding of the role of people in organizations. This gave him an unparalleled understanding of the workings of organizations.

Deming along with Walter Shewhart the inventor of Statistical Process Control (SPC), developed and promoted statistical quality methods during the 1920s and 1930s. He played a vital role in the crash program in statistical quality control sponsored by the Department of War during WWII that led to a dramatic improvement in the manufacturing quality and capacity of US industries and is one major reason why the US prevailed. After the war he was invited by Japanese industry to lecture on quality. His now legendary lectures to statisticians and mangers, and seminars to top management led to an unprecedented resurgence in Japanese quality and industry, transforming Japan into a global powerhouse and the second largest economy in the world. He earned the love and respect of the Japanese who created an industrial prize in his honor, the highly coveted Deming Prize. In addition he was awarded the Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure, the highest award Japan can bestow on a foreigner.

By 1970 Japan was dominating global industries and Western companies laboring under outdated management thinking were unable to compete. US quality was falling to new lows each year. Despite trips to Japan and all kinds of theories by American management thinkers all their efforts came to naught. It was only upon the US rediscovering Deming because of a 1980 NBC show, If Japan Can Why Can’t We? that US and Western Industry began to realize the methods of the day were dysfunctional. Deming began consulting major companies such as Ford and GM both of which experienced major improvements in quality and financial results. He began what became his famous 4-day seminars, some of which were given specifically to major corporations while others were open to all. Harley Davidson, Intel, Colgate Palmolive, Proctor & Gamble, Marshall Industries and many other companies large and small experienced dramatic turnarounds or improvement in their business as a result of adopting some or many of Deming’s management ideas. Today Deming’s influence pervades management thinking in the best run companies. The emphasis on quality, team work, working with suppliers, choosing suppliers based on a long term relationships of trust as opposed to lowest initial cost, elevating the customer to the most important link in the production process, continual improvement of the product and the process, trusting employees, eliminating all barriers that prevent workers from experiencing pride in their work are all ideas that came directly from Deming.

Early Life

Born in 1900, in Sioux City, Iowa, he graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. and received a masters in mathematics and physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. At the suggestion and with the support of one of his professors, Professor Lester, he applied and was accepted at Yale University to study for his doctorate. While he was granted a scholarship he still needed to support himself and obtained a summer position at the Bell Laboratories of AT&T, where he met several important influences and one of the pivotal figures of his life, Walter Shewhart.

Quality had been an objective or been given lip service by industrialists and craftsmen going back to time immemorial. While many people have considered quality to be unimportant the most important figures of history universally acknowledge its importance and claimed to strive for it. Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie are two of the giants of industrialization who prided themselves on their focus of quality. Nevertheless as measurements became more precise and standards more demanding in the 1920s quality became increasingly more important and the methods practiced by even the most quality conscious companies were shown to be insufficient. AT&T was stumped as the harder it tried to make parts and phones uniform, the worse the results.

The Influence of Walter Shewhart

Shewhart was given that problem and he began to apply a new kind of statistical thinking to the problem. What he found was that every process has a certain amount of inherent variation built into the process, which he called natural variation. In addition every process experiences a second kind of variation from some unusual and normally unwanted event. Should a part wear down, or a new untrained worker handle a key task, or a different supplier be used, the variation of the end and intermediate products increases, and as a result quality becomes worse. The inherent variation was natural variation and while the others were due to assignable causes. In general assignable variation are of a larger magnitude than natural variation and with a sensitive tool he devised, the control chart, they could be readily detected.

One of Shewhart’s key insights is of great importance for quality and management, although it is not universally appreciated or understood. And that is that natural variation and assignable variation must be treated differently, if you want consistent quality and if you wish to improve. Causes of assignable variation, or assignable causes, should be hunted down and eliminated. Discovering these causes also provides a great opportunity to take steps to keep them from reoccurring. Natural variation, on the other hand, should be left alone. In fact taking actions to eliminate natural variation is often in the form of making adjustments to the process and this simply makes things worse. Deming would later call this Tampering. There are ways of decreasing natural variation but this involves a change in the system which must be done with great care and requires expertise and people who are intimately familiar with the process. A key distinction is therefore between eliminating assignable causes and making improvements to the systems. While both do result in improvements, the distinction makes improvement possible over time and eliminates a host of problems. These two different causes of variation and of problems would be called Common causes and special causes by Deming.

These and many other key insights were published in Shewhart’s first book, Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product, published in 1931. With its publication Statistical Quality Control was born. This became known as Statistical Process Control. AT&T adopted Shewhart’s methods such as the control chart and became arguably the most successful company in the world, with quality second to none.

Deming and Shewhart intertwined names in Statistics and Quality

Deming and Shewhart became great friends, and collaborators. They developed a branch of statistics sometimes referred to as the Shewhart Deming School of statistics. Deming worked in physics and statistics and became one of the acknowledged experts in quality control. Deming also became an expert in sampling and began work for the census bureau. The concept of Statistical Control as developed by Shewhart and enhanced by Deming became an important concept for sampling and inference as well as Quality Control. In 1939 Deming invited Shewhart to give a series of lectures in Washington, DC, at the Graduate School, US Department of Agriculture, where Deming was Senior Mathematician. The four lectures became Shewhart’s second book, Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control, a seminal work, and Deming was the editor. The book summarizes Shewhart’s additional contribution to quality control as well as new work on the theory of knowledge and its application to science and engineering. It should be noted that Statistical Process Control and related branches of statistical thinking is different from acceptance sampling, with which it is sometimes confused.

Statistical Quality Control and World War II

When World War II broke out the US, which had followed a policy of isolationism was woefully unprepared, with one of the smallest armies in the world. The country needed to shift to a war time footing immediately and begin mass production of military hardware. The problem was further compounded by the fact that the US needed to fight a war on two fronts and required all the manpower it could muster. Women for the first time became part of the workforce in large numbers. At the behest of the Department of War several crash programs and educational series were launched to increase production. Management courses were introduced as were courses in Industrial Engineering. A course in quality control was launched nationwide and Deming was called on to teach engineers and plant managers the basic principles of quality control. One of the points he made was that increasing quality lessens costs and increases productivity, a counter-intuitive concept that has now been thoroughly demonstrated.

In the 1990s some secret Japanese documents were released showing estimates that the US would be able to produce a given quantity of military goods in a 9 year war. In actuality the US, produced twice that amount in a 3½ year war. A rate more than 5 times greater than the best estimate by Japanese intelligence of American production capabilities. While many things played a role in this unprecedented jump in production, the massive quality training was one element that was to prove its potency a decade later in the defeated nation.

After the war American industries began to abandon what they had learned about quality. In addition the work force also shifted as women were asked to leave to make room for the returning veterans who needed jobs. So with a shift in the workforce and a loss of interest from management quality began to take a back seat and slowly started to disappear from the psyche of American management. In addition many quality practitioners ran around trying to use control charts in instances where they were inappropriate. The level of understanding was not deep enough and the commitment was not there to make quality a lasting force in the US.

Statistical Quality Control and The Role of Management in Quality in Japan

Meanwhile Japan was suffering. Made in Japan had become synonymous with shoddy goods of poor quality that did not last. This was true of consumer mass produced goods in Japan both before and after the war. Ironically, however, their military goods as well as their crafts were of outstanding quality. Japanese industrial leaders as late as 1950, 6 years after the war was over were still struggling, but they had run across the literature on quality control and some began to suspect that quality control could have an epochal effect on the country. But they needed an expert to convey knowledge beyond the texts. The name of Deming kept showing up in the quality literature and when they learned that he was working with General MacArthur’s staff, he was invited to lecture in Japan and he accepted. JUSE, the Union of Japanese Scientist and Engineers, hosted the event, first a week long seminar on elementary principles of statistical control of quality.

But as he was lecturing he realized he was making a fatal mistake. He was lecturing to the same people he had lectured to in the US, plant managers and engineers. He consulted with his hosts who understood the problem and they arranged for him on that first visit to speak to about 100 top level business leaders. He told these leaders what was their responsibilities toward quality. Ultimately quality is made in the boardroom and is the responsibility of top management. With top management supporting quality efforts their companies and their economy would flourish.

In subsequent years he returned to Japan and continued to lecture on statistical principles as well as management principles. In 1951 he was due a substantial royalty from the publication of his Elementary Principles of the Statistical Control of Quality, which he donated to JUSE to do whatever they thought was appropriate. Using these funds they established the Deming Prize to recognize achievement in the theory and practice of quality control. The prize became the most coveted award for corporations and for quality specialists. The prize for application was won by most of the major, well known quality companies such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and others.

The Results in Japan

Deming predicted that in 5 years Japanese companies would be exporting all over the world and companies in other countries would be clamoring for trade protection. Years later he was told he was the only person in Japan who believed that. But in order not to lose face they did as he instructed and surprised the world and even beat Deming’s prediction by a year.

Made in Japan became synonymous with the highest quality in the world. Industry after industry were invaded by Japanese enterprises. The Japanese began to dominate cameras, once dominated by German companies; watches, formerly dominated by Swiss; and television, radios, consumer electronics, motorcycles and other industries formerly dominated by American companies. They also made dramatic inroads into automobiles, semiconductors, computers and other high-tech industries.

The Decline of Quality in the US

Deming was celebrated in Japan in the 1950s and 60s while receiving little attention in his home country. The 1970s were a particularly quiet time for the recognition of quality especially in the West. If anything US quality was falling and reaching new lows. The Japanese invasion became a rout with American and Western managers shell shocked and confused with no clue as to how to stop the Japanese onslaught. US management trends included Management by Objectives, goal setting and focusing on profit targets for each quarter. That a manager could actually develop tools to improve a process or improve quality was largely unknown. Ford began to lose a billion dollars a year and became synonymous for Found On Road Dead, Chrysler faced bankruptcy and US business school-trained managers were helpless.

In 1980 an NBC program, If Japan can Why Can’t We?, was aired prominently featuring Deming in the last 20 minutes of the show. Now 80 years old, he showed 8mm film of his receiving a medal from the emperor of Japan for his contribution to the revival of Japan. And then he briefly described what he had told the Japanese. The next day Deming’s phone began to ring off the hook and he soon became booked with seminars and consulting assignments for the next three years.

The Resurgence of Quality and appreciation for Deming as a Management Thinker

During the 1980s Deming led a new resurgence in quality not just in the US, but in the Western World. Other Asian countries became adherents and his work and the work of his disciples were translated into European and Asian languages. He consulted Ford and GM personally, gave seminars at Proctor & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T and produced a 4-day public seminar that became legendary. Now he was no longer regarded as just a statistician, but as a profound and revolutionary management thinker. Some of the management concepts came from statistics and quality control but he also crossed into systems thinking and a humanistic psychology and added his own insights from 50 years of experience. Sam Walton wrote that he began to read Deming in the 1970s and was clearly influenced by him. Harley Davidson broke off from the conglomerate AMF, and while on the brink of failure posted Deming’s 14 points on the factory walls. They were to experience one of the most dramatic corporate turnarounds ever. Intel, Colgate Palmolive, DuPont and hundreds of other firms were influenced by Deming and changed some significant part of their management as a result.

Deming published 3 management books during the 1980’s Quality Productivity and Competitive Position, Out of the Crisis, and The New Economics which extended his reach beyond his seminars and classes. This was in addition to four prior books he had written on statistics and sampling as well as over 170 scientific papers. Several recognized students published well received books on his management ideas that were translated into many languages, extending his influence throughout the world.

Deming’s 4-day seminar became world famous and many participants described their attendance as being life changing. Deming taught a class at NYU every Monday, consulted with several large companies, continued to write, give interviews and conducted his 4-day seminars until his death in December of 1993.

The Deming Philosophy

Deming, Walter Shewhart and others had developed Statistical Process Control into a well developed science. The Deming Prize in Japan was awarded to individuals who made significant contributions to the theory of quality control and in addition an application prize was established for companies who made the greatest improvements in quality. As a result many Japanese developed new insights and methods. Among these are Kaoru Ishikawa, Shigeru Mizuno and Genichi Taguchi. Winners of the Deming Prize in Japan continued to develop new ideas, not just in process improvement but in management theory. By the time he was rediscovered in his home country and in the West, Deming had been actively involved in quality control, statistical thinking and management for over 50 years. He and his adherents had developed a virtual science of improvement. And a whole school of management thought had been developed by him and grown up around him with contributors from all parts of the world. His effect on American business people was profound as he contradicted much of the teachings that the current business Gurus had been espousing and most of what was being taught in business school.

Once he was rediscovered in the US he continued to develop his management ideas and more Americans began to make contributions as well. Towards the end of his life be brought all his ideas together into a system of knowledge covering four very broad areas of knowledge: Knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge, appreciation for a system and some understanding of people. These four areas were to be considered as a system, interacting together. With sufficient understanding of each of these (one need not be an expert in any, he was quick to point out) his 14 Points for the Transformation of Management could be derived.

It is worthwhile listing some of the many significant ideas he brought to management thinking in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • Quality Lowers Costs and improve Productivity. At the time many management experts including well respect figures like Peter Drucker claimed that quality was expensive and a company needed to determine the lowest acceptable level of quality that the customers would accept. Deming considered this to be dangerous nonsense. A company needed to focus on continually improving quality, even beyond specifications and beyond what customers wanted or expected. By doing so the definition of quality and acceptable quality would of course change and companies who did not improve would be left without a market.

  • Quality leads to higher sales, greater market share, and higher profits. In fact, improving quality lowered costs, increased productivity, led to more sales, greater market share and the creation of jobs and more jobs. And this was not a one-time event, but an iterative process that continued unabated forever. Improving quality led to lower costs, because of fewer defect, fewer problems and less waste of all kinds some of which could not be readily observed or measured.

  • Development of Loyal Customers. Quality also led to the creation of loyal customers who were many times more profitable than ordinary customers. In fact, the worst customers were those who were only interested in price. But with lower costs, quality companies would still naturally capture some of these.

  • Eliminate Merit Reviews. He was also adamant in his opposition to merit reviews in whatever form this occurred, but especially when people were ranked, from top to bottom or on some grading scale. Most of the differences between people working in a system are due to variation that is caused by the system whether special causes or common causes. This position was informed by his decades of experience as a mathematician and statistician.

  • Do Not Rank People. To rank people based on variation caused by the system was the equivalent of having a lottery and claiming the results of the lottery were based on merit. This has a deleterious effect on people in the company, not just those who lose the lottery but those who win the lottery and get high rankings. It also tends to destroy teamwork and leads to the hoarding of any information that might improve the performance of others and therefore the performance of the company.

  • Most of the Variation between People is due to chance. There is a broad band of variation in the performance of people in an organization similar to control limits which define the variation due to chance, just like in any system. For those who are within those limits the variation from individual to individual is due to chance.

  • You can identify people whose performance is outside the system and therefore not due to chance with the proper use of the proper tools. But some people might be outside that system either above it or below it. It was management’s job to identify those who were performing below the system and help them. For those above the system it was important to find out if they were doing anything that could be spread throughout the system or if they were in fact taking short comes that only led to short term results at the expense of other parts of the company.

  • While not ranking, a Manager should be constantly Coaching. At the same time while he was against merit reviews and ranking he believed it was a manager’s job to coach his people, but not just once at year but continually as needed. A manager needed to know his people well.

  • The main purpose of companies is to improve the Standard of Living of Mankind. As for the purpose of a company it was to improve the standard of living of mankind, not to maximize profits. In fact the idea of maximizing profits was often counterproductive as there was no clear way of maximizing profit a one dimensional measurement in a much more complicated and multi-dimensional world. Yet companies who paid attention to customers and workers and providing constantly better quality produced much greater profits than those companies who strove to maximize profits. He stated that he saw very little evidence that American companies were interested in profits.

  • Quality leads to higher profits. By lessening variation of your products or service and the processes that delivered those products you lessen your costs, often dramatically and this led to much greater profits than were possible by letting shoddy products out the door for fear of losing short term profits or disappointing your bosses.

  • Empirical Verification. This has been consistently confirmed empirically with the PIPs study conducted by the American Society for Quality. The study shows that the most profitable companies are those with high market share and high perceived quality.

  • PDCA, PDSA. Improving quality is not a haphazard affair, indeed since Shewhart began to define quality and quality characteristics in statistical terms, the methods for improving quality have been multiplying. But one of the most widely used of Deming concepts is the application of the scientific method to improvement known as PDCA. In Japan this was taught as the Deming cycle, although Deming modestly called it the Shewhart Cycle. Shewhart originally had a three part cycle primarily designed to bring a process into statistical control. It was originally thought that bringing a process in statistical control was the economic best solution and there was nothing more to be gained after statistical control had been reached. But that was later modified. Bringing a process into statistical control comes from eliminating assignable causes, which Deming began calling special causes. Once a system was in control it could still be improved by eliminating natural variation or what Deming called common causes.

While it might not normally be economical to eliminate common causes and thereby improve the system, the company that did make those improvements could end up dominating an industry. Thus PDCA or Plan Do Check Act was to be applied to special and common cause. In the last 5 years of his life Deming starting calling this PDSA for Plan Do Study Act, to emphasize that time spent studying the results could often do a lot more than just confirm the initial hypothesis.

  • Continual Improvement and Kaizen. From this is born the concept of continual never ending improvement, point 5 of Deming’s 14 Points. In Japan this is also sometimes called Kaizen.

  • Four Ways to Improve. According to Deming there are 4 ways to improve: 1) improvement of the product; 2) innovation of the product; 3) Improvement of the Process; 4) Innovation of the Process. Radical innovations that can dramatically shift an industry are part and parcel of Deming’s Management philosophy.

  • The customer as the Last Step in the Production Line: obtain feedback. One of the key differences between Deming and others was putting the customer as the last step in the production line. Thus rather than just build a product and hope that it sells, the customer is often, although not always, consulted during the design phase. But certainly after launching a product customers should be surveyed and spoken with to find what they like and do not like; how they use and do not use your product or service.

  • Breakthroughs come from the producer. But great breakthroughs most of the time come not from customers but from the producers who knows what is possible to achieve, while the customer does not. He often pointed to the example of Harvey Firestone who created a tire so that cars could ride on air. Initially people were extremely skeptical, but he knew what was possible and launched his product with great success. Other examples could have included Chester Carlson who invented the photo copier and sold it to Xerox after every other company had turned it down. Initially it was thought just a few hundred copies would be made at each company, but when introduced tens of thousands of copies were made and business and information distribution was revolutionized. Certainly Steven Jobs is someone who follows in that tradition and Deming would have approved.

  • The need for Teamwork. Another area where Deming strongly deviated from his contemporaries was in the need for organizations to work together. Team work within a department was of course, of critical importance but most of the American Management tools such as merit review, Management by Objectives, Performance reviews and goal setting, particularly department by department goal setting destroyed team work.

  • Breaking Down Barriers Between Departments. But he went much further and called for breaking down barriers between departments. In planning and executing the plan departments had to communicate. Barriers between them needed to be broken down. Often the most dramatic gains in a company came from departments working on issues that neither could tackle on its own.

  • System Theory in an organization: Sub-optimization. The linear approach of most management systems at the time called for each department to have set goals and to work independently to meet those goals. Deming considered this to be not just wrong but something that would worsen a company and lead to its ruin. He applied systems thinking to the whole company, in fact to well beyond any one individual company. And when departments tried to maximize their own results they often met their own goals but made things much worse for the whole company. He called this sub-optimization.

  • Cooperation in an Industry. He went even further and called for companies to work together, particularly on common causes of the industry. By developing standards as an industry and then approaching government with one voice industry was in a much better position to establish standards that were beneficial to the consumer and the industry. Companies should also cooperate in other areas such as research. But he was adamant that companies not cooperate on prices. He maintained that by cooperating on common causes competition on special causes would be better and better serve the consumer.

  • A Company as a System One of his trademark graphics involved putting up a flow chart of a company. The idea was to show that a company is a whole system with suppliers and customers an integral part of this larger system. Constant improvement could and should be done both on the product and the process. To improve the product getting feedback from customers was critical and here his work in sampling and consumer research played a major role.

  • Statistical Tools for Improvement are Important. To work on the process the various process control tools developed in the US during the development of SPC and in Japan with the development of Total Quality Control, all played an important role.

  • But understanding the needs of humans is more important. But along side all this work on the process, the company and the industry as a system; it was the human side of his management that had the most profound impact on many managers.

  • Restore the Individual. The purpose of his management, he argued, was to restore the individual. Quality ultimately was pride of workmanship, the term he used until about 1984, when he revised it to include all workers and managers and instead began talking about Joy in Work.

  • Eliminate barriers to Joy in Work. One of management’s key roles is to eliminate barriers to performing their work effectively. Management must eliminate barriers to pride of workmanship and joy in work.

  • People are different. Some respond to the written word, some to oral communications. Management needed to know their people and how they differed if they are to communicate and coach effectively.

  • Management is about the future, management is prediction. Conventional management spends too much time on the past, analyzing results, ranking people. While these numbers tell you what happened in the past, they do not tell you about the future. And management is prediction, it is about the future. One needs to know enough about variation or statistics, and the theory of knowledge in order to determine to what extent, if any the past predicts the future. Unfortunately conventional Western management uses numbers of the past indiscriminately and makes decisions that only destroy the people and the organization.

  • Work to lessen variation. One key definition of improvement, especially of improving quality is to lessen variation. As you lessen variation you improve the system and you improve the results. The contra position to this is the Six Sigma emphasis on lowering costs, often with no consideration of lessening variation. The results is that while costs may decrease with Six Sigma the system still has wide variation and the customers don’t perceive any improvement. In fact from the customers’ point of view the product and service quality may be getting worse. Thus companies claim to have saved huge amounts of money as they lose market share and sometimes go out of business. The modern statistical definition of quality is not about specifications, (or cost cutting per se) but having a system that is on target with minimum variation.

  • Quality is Made in The Boardroom. Limitations of control chart or any method of process improvement. If management doesn’t consider the whole system it may make things worse. This is true for six sigma, lean, just-in-time and control charts.

  • It is wrong to suppose that if you can`t measure it, you can`t manage it. Most of the heavy losses caused by management today cannot be measured, yet they must be managed. Thus, management may spend $20,000 to train six people in a skill. This $20,000 is an investment. It`s magnitude is known, $20.000. The future benefit (return on investment), however, will never be known, cannot be measured. Management`s action is based on theory, prediction that the investment will in time pay off handsomely. Knowledge is theory.

  • Knowledge is theory. We should be thankful if action of management is based on theory. Knowledge has temporal spread. Information is not knowledge. The world is drowning in information but is slow in acquisition of knowledge. There is no substitute for knowledge.

To communicate his thinking of management Deming devised 14 points.

The 14 Points for the Transformation of Management:

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.

3. Cease reliance on mass inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.

4. 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.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.

6. Institute training on the job.

7. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.

8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, since the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.

11a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor Substitute leadership.

11b. Eliminate management by objectives. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.

12a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly workers of their right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from mere numbers to quality.

12b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual review or merit rating and of management by objectives.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

This article and all the contents are copyrighted © 2010 by Deming Collaboration and Rafael Aguayo. All rights are reserved. Anyone is free to use this article or parts of it and distribute it free of charge to others as long as this statement appears in full and includes: “reproduced by permission of the Deming Collaboration, The Deming Bio, 2010.”

Profound Knowledge

Deming never hid the influence of others in his thinking, in fact he often gave others credit where he had originated the idea. While he combined and synthesized the teachings of others he also added key factors. And as his knowledge and understanding grew he found they encompassed several fields of knowledge. But new ideas did not contradict the older fields. In fact the ideas had to work together to create a system of knowledge that was more powerful than any single field. In adding new ideas he was careful to discriminate among ideas.

Towards the end of his life he began to see that four key areas defined his management ideas and the interaction between these four branches of what he called Profound Knowledge was systemic in nature with each influencing the others. He called this a System of Profound Knowledge with the four key branches being Knowledge of variation, Theory of Knowledge, Appreciation for a system and Knowledge of People. These four areas were to be considered as a system, interacting together. With sufficient understanding of each of these, he was quick to point out that one need not be an expert in any, his 14 Points could be derived.

This article and all the contents are copyrighted © 2010, 2011 by Deming Collaboration and Rafael Aguayo. All rights are reserved. Anyone is free to use this article or parts of it and distribute it free of charge to others as long as this statement appears in full and includes: “reproduced by permission of the Deming Collaboration, The Deming Bio, 2011.”

Comments are closed.