The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Archive for the ‘process thinking’ Category

Educate New Managers on Their New Responsibilities

Far too often companies promote employees into management positions and expect them to fulfill the obligations of their new position without helping prepare them to meet their new responsibilities. People who excelled at doing their non-supervisory job often have little education or experience to succeed with their new responsibilities. Managing a software development team is […]

Jobs to be Done

In Clayton Christensen’s new book, Competing Against Luck, the authors delve into the importance of gaining a deep understanding of what your customers desire. The book lays out a Theory of Jobs to be Done in a very compelling way. To me this is a great example of extending Deming’s ideas with a great deal […]

Using Checklists to Reduce Process Variation and Improve Results

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a wonderful book about how to create systems that work. At the core the Checklist Manifesto is about determining the critical process conditions and creating a system to assure that the those process items are properly handled. In the book Atul Gawande paraphrases Daniel Boorman, veteran pilot who […]

Industrial Statistics – Research vs Practice

2013 American Statistical Association (ASA) Deming Lecture: Industrial Statistics – Research vs Practice by Vijay Nair, University of Michigan. In his talk Dr. Nair referenced the article, W. Edwards Deming: The Story ofa Truly Remarkable Person, by Robert B. Austenfeld. He also referenced Dr. Deming becoming famous in the USA overnight, at the age of […]

Applying Understanding of Variation to Large Datasets

Understanding Variation by Thomas Nolan, Rocco J. Perla and Lloyd Provost. There have been large changes in the use of data since the publication of Understanding Variation, by Thomas Nolan and Lloyd Provost. The new article discusses how to use an understanding of variation when working with large datasets (for example, government data). From the […]

Improving the System to Reduce Costs Isn’t Equal to Cost Cutting

Real benefits come when managers begin to understand the profound difference between “cost cutting” and “eliminating the causes of costs.” Brian Joiner in Fourth Generation Management Cutting costs by fiat via executive orders reduces the capability of the organization. Those costs are often born by customers. In the short term reducing costs in such a […]

Better Meetings for Your Organization

Meetings are often frustrating for those spending time sitting through them. The solutions proposed for this issue often seem not very well thought out to me. The various traits (frequency, length, detailed agendas or not etc.) of meetings are useful or harmful depending on the circumstances. This is similar to Deming’s ideas on management, I […]

Using Outdated Management Practices Can Be Very Costly

Readers of this blog are aware of the problems created by using quotas: Achieved the goal by not the aim (2013) – The Futility of a Numerical Goal (2014), Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System (2013), Dr. Deming on the problems with targets or goals. Wells Fargo to pay $150 million-plus […]