The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Posts Tagged ‘customer focus’

Quality Comes to City Hall

Out of the Crisis included a couple pages (245-7) that Dr. Deming asked my father to write on the efforts to apply Deming’s management ideas at the City of Madison (the first effort to do so in the public sector as far as I know). This article provides more details on that effort and is […]

Minimal Viable Product

Minimal Viable Product is an important concept. The idea is to learn from customers (users) using the product/service as soon as possible. Having customers direct experience available as soon as possible allows those designing and creating the product to learn as early as possible from those customers. The idea with MVP is to speed up […]

Applying Deming’s Management Thinking at Patagonia

Randy Harward spoke at the 2013 Deming Institute annual conference on applying Deming management methods and sustainability and Patagonia. I was hired to take care of this huge volume of returns coming back from customers, we had so many quality problems. I was managing customer service and all the systems required to handle this huge […]

Learning from Other Schools of Management Thought

The Lean Enterprise Institute has published webcasts of discussions with James Womack, Dan Jones and John Shook exploring reflections on 25 years of lean which I think are quite good. This excerpt looks at learning from other communities of interest and ideas used by the lean startup. I agree with the idea that different management […]

Customer Focus with a Deming Perspective

There are few managers today that would say their organization doesn’t focus on customers. It is fairly accepted that in order to proposer a business needs to convince customers to pay. But I find most organizations I interact with don’t do a decent job of focusing on customers (so customers are provided much worse service […]

The consumer is the most important point on the production-line

In, New Principles in Administration for Quality and Efficiency (speech by W. Edward Deming in Manila, Philippines, July 2, 1971) Dr. Deming laid out 19 principles. The full list of principles is included in The Essential Deming, page 176-178. Two I find particularly insightful and instructive (especially when you consider this is from 1971). Principle […]

Deming and Lean: The Disparities and Similarities

In my opinion Deming’s ideas and lean thinking share many similarities. I do see plenty of weaknesses in lean manufacturing efforts at organizations. Most of the weaknesses are due to bad implementation of lean manufacturing rather than lean thinking missing fundamental elements included in Deming’s management system. A very common point of criticism (from Deming […]

Asking Questions to Initiate New Thinking

We are posting several short videos to provide everyone an opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Deming. It is remarkable how well the ideas he spoke of have aged even while the world has been changing rapidly. This video offers several questions that challenge us to think more deeply about current practices and perhaps help […]