Monday, November 05, 2007

Deming's 14 Points

Everywhere you look you can find ideas and checklists that help you bring transformation to your company or your life. For organizational transformation specifically, none has stood the test of time like W. Edward Demings, 14 Points.
  1. Create constancy of purpose.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy.
  3. Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality.
  4. Minimize total cost, not initial price of supplies.
  5. Improve constantly the system of production and service.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Institute leadership.
  8. Drive out fear.
  9. Break down barriers between departments.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and numerical targets.
  11. Eliminate work standards (quotas) and management by objective.
  12. Remove barriers that rob workers, engineers, and managers of their right to pride of
  13. workmanship.
  14. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  15. Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.
-- Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming
As someone who is all too often attempting to drive transformation in various organizations, I have found my internal dialog referring to this list often enough.

As helpful as these words have been for understanding how to implement transformation in an organization, I have found his words on how to bring the individual into the process even more empowering.

The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people.

Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to. The individual, once transformed, will:
  • Set an example
  • Be a good listener, but will not compromise
  • Continually teach other people
  • Help people to pull away from their current practice and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the past
-- Excerpt from Chapter 4 of The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education by W. Edwards Deming
For myself, I am often challenged on my desire to keep quality high and to not compromise on language or vocabulary during discussion. I will adapt my language and alter my point of view, but always seek for consistency and correctness in speech. Often times the less deliberate find this strict discipline confining or frustrating. For me it is the cost of quality and effectiveness.

Thanks for validating me, Deming.

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