The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Posts Tagged ‘customer focus’

Analyzing Data Requires an Understanding of the System Generating the Data

This recent article, Has Uber Forced Taxi Drivers to Step Up Their Game?, explores how competition from Uber has pressured the legacy taxi business to improve customer service. In exploring whether the data supports the idea that there has been an effort to improve customer service the article mentions that complaints about taxis increased in […]

Creativity Inc. – Using Deming’s Ideas at Pixar

Ed Catmull co-founded Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter. In Ed’s book, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, he discusses how important Deming’s ideas were to his efforts to help make Pixar what it is today. As we struggled to get Pixar off the ground, Deming’s […]

Cooperating with Competitors

W. Edwards Deming included this example of businesses cooperating with competitors in The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education: My automobile, sitting in front of my house, would not start. I called Bill at the Exxon station not far away. When the man from the Exxon station came, I noted that he was in a […]

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 […]