The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Posts Tagged ‘process thinking’

Stratify Data to Hone in on Special Causes of Problems

We have a tendency to focus on special causes even when poor results are due to common causes within the system. To improve results that are due to the system trying to determine the specific problem with any bad result and fix that problem is an inefficient strategy. But there are times when seeking the […]

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 […]

Some Notes on Management in a Hospital by W. Edwards Deming

We used to publish a newsletter. In the Fall 2006 Deming Interaction we published an excerpt from an article by Dr. Deming: Some Notes on Management in a Hospital (published in 1990 in the Journal of the Society of Health Systems). In the lecture discussed from our last blog post I learned something I didn’t […]

Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System

The W. Edwards Deming Institute podcast with Dr. Sophronia (Frony) Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Process Behavior Charts are the Secret to Understanding the Organization as a System (direct download), is another in our understanding variation series. Frony discusses the importance of Statistical Process Control (SPC) in all parts of an organization. […]

Using Data to Seek Continual Improvement, Not Just Process Monitoring

Dr. Donald Wheeler and Dr. Henry Neave wrote an interesting article in Quality Digest recently: Shewhart and the Probability Approach Shewhart’s use of three-sigma limits, as opposed to any other multiple of sigma, did not stem from any specific mathematical computation. Rather, Shewhart found that the use of three-sigma limits “seems to be an acceptable […]

Standardization Doesn’t Stamp Out Creativity

I understand some of the ideas Dr. Deming expressed challenge people’s beliefs and are difficult to accept. I can accept that. Certain exclamations I have more trouble accepting. One of the things I find annoying, in this way, is that reducing variation and using standardization is said to mean everyone has to be the same […]

Ron Moen and Cliff Norman Discuss the Evolution of Deming’s Management Ideas

In the most recent Deming Institute podcast Ron Moen and Cliff Norman, of Associates in Process Improvement (API), discuss their paper (to be published in 2016), “Evolution of Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge” and the “journey of learning” Dr. Deming and they have experienced. Ron Moen and Cliff Norman are co-authors, along with their colleagues […]

People Copy Examples and Wonder Why They Don’t Succeed

People copy examples and then they wonder what is the trouble. They look at examples and without theory they learn nothing. W. Edwards Deming in The Deming of America. See a longer quote with more context. We can learn from looking at what others do well. But when we try and copy practices, processes, techniques, […]