The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Archive for the ‘systems thinking’ Category

On the Use of Theory

On the Use of Theory is an article W. Edward 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 […]

Effective Decision Making

We want to chose the best strategy. However, as the image by Randal Monroe (xkcd comic) shows we need to consider the whole system. It isn’t helpful to spend more effort to chose between two options than the difference between them offers. However we can be drawn into such behavior by the management system and […]

To Copy is to Invite Disaster

Dr. Deming explained the dangers of copying from other organizations: “To copy is to invite disaster.” (page 10 of The New Economics). The proper corse of action depends on the system. This, like so much of Deming’s advice, relates to understanding the organization as a system. A Deming management view requires thinking about relationships, psychology, […]

Dr. Deming Video: Managing the Organization as a System

In this short video clip from The Deming Library (volume 14 – Understanding Profound Knowledge) Dr. Deming discusses the importance of understanding the inter-dependence within a system. This idea is fairly easy to accept. But to manage in a way that focuses on improving the entire system instead of improving sub-processes within a system independently […]

Deming Podcast: The Deming Journey at New York Label & Box Works

In this episode of the Deming Podcast (download), Steven Haedrich, President of New York Label & Box Works, talks about the Deming journey at the company. Steven also talks about the relevance of the Deming teachings today and the keys to long-term success using the Deming method. Steven Haedrich: I knew performance appraisals were useless […]

Too Many People Putting Forth Their Best Efforts

In this clip from volume 14, Understanding Profound Knowledge, of the Deming Library, W. Edward Deming discusses the problem with people putting forth their best efforts. Deming theorem #2 We are being ruined by people putting forth their best efforts. Brian Joiner quoted Dr. Deming as follows: Best efforts are not enough, you have to […]

Each Person Doing What They Are Told Isn’t Enough

The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they were taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management. W. Edwards Deming, Out of the […]

Thinking Required – Not Just a Recipe to Follow

One of the most powerful aspects of Deming’s management ideas also frustrate some people. Dr. Deming didn’t believe in simple guides telling managers what to do – his ideas are not prescriptive. The challenges of management don’t lend themselves to simple instructions spelling out exactly what steps managers need to take. What managers need to […]