The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

You Burn, I’ll Scrape

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our system of make-and-inspect, which if applied to making toast would be expressed: “You burn, I’ll scrape.”

Joe Sensennbrer quoting Dr. Deming in his article, Quality Comes to City Hall

This wonderful quote highlights Dr. Deming’s ability to use humor and create a simple visual to drive home a point.

We can all easily see burning toast and then scraping it to reach the desired state isn’t a very sensible process. But in our organizations how often do we tolerate systems that produce substandard results instead of fixing the process? How often do we blame the people for not scraping the toast well enough instead of having a management system that fixes the process to not burn the toast in the first place?

Related: Process Thinking at PatagoniaThe consumer is the most important point on the production-lineCease Dependence on Inspectionprevious post on the Quality Comes to City Hall article


Categorised as: Dr. Deming, process thinking


3 Comments

  1. […] of BDD development using a burned toast analogy. This was based on W. Edwards Demings’ “You burn it, I’ll scrape it” quote on tolerating systems that produce substandard results instead of fixing the process. […]

  2. […] enough that we can use code reviews as a valuable tool for managing software development. The waste of having processes that create defects and then use inspection to catch them is certainly something to avoid. A significant part of the effort in code reviews should be geared […]

  3. […] participation in the “you burn, I’ll scrape” system is even worse than the normal burning then scraping process. They create a bad system […]

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