Monday, July 11, 2011

Deming and His Fourteen Suggestions...

W. Edwards Deming

From Wikipedia, "William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 – December 20, 1993) was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant."
from Wikipedia: W. Edwards Deming

Years ago, again, when I worked in a petrochemical plant, and before Deming died, the Company decided to use Deming's methods to promote substantial improvements in the Company processes. As I recall, Deming had fourteen points. As a young engineer I was eager to study the methods of this great man, methods that after WWII transformed Japan into a manufacturing dynamo. We even watched some live video feeds of Deming promoting his methods. He was quite the curmudgeon.

Now the thing about Deming's 14 points is that they are a package deal. Each point is part of a system composed of all 14 points. Think of a system as a cow. Now you can take a leg off a cow and you no longer have a complete cow. That's what a system is all about. Cut a cow in half and you don't get two cows. All parts work together to make a functional whole.

Back to the story. The Company decided to implement Deming's 14 points and we had classes on - wait for it - HOW the Company would implement each of the points.

Early on in the study I realized they were redefining the system, and I made some notes. It was the poetic period of my life…

I made a special note for Deming point 4: "End practice of awarding business on price tag alone."
"Anybody will work hard IF ..."
they are appreciated
they have an inner drive
they know what to do, how to do it, and are given the right tools
they are raised to do so
they believe they have good reason
they know what the goal is
they feel a part of the job, with self-satisfaction and involvement
they are given feedback
they can do it their way
their efforts are recognized, and they are satisfied
they enjoy their work
they like their work and feel the end result is worthwhile
they feel like part of the team
a combination of all the above...

Yet in all my lost documents I found the following piece written in 1992 and I still have the hand-written note.  It was tongue in cheek, so be kind.

Deming’s Fourteen Points
A Company’s Tale

We’re an American group
A wise and tough troupe
We know how to do things right.

But let’s be a lemming
And follow this Deming
Sending profits out of sight.

1. Constancy of purpose
Be constant in purpose
And profits will surface.
These long-term results take some thought.
2. Adopt new philosophy and lead (Manage by Method)
The philosophy’s new
A good leader or two…
I know a good man who can be bought.
3. Quit inspecting and build quality in.
Build quality in
Quit checking then…
Then what will our inspectors do?
4. Go for a single supplier
Get one supplier
And be a good buyer.
If one’s good, we’d better have two!
5. Constant Improvement
Keep on improving
Constantly moving.
Of course, our process is good enough.
6. Train on the job
Let everyone learn
To do what they earn.
Hey, I wonder who’s gonna teach ‘em?
7. Institute Leadership
Someone to lead
A dire need.
We’ll assign that to Joe, down the hall.
8. Drive out Fear
Drive out that fear
We’re all family here.
And if you don’t think so, you’re fired.
9. Break down Barriers
Remove those work barriers
From buyers to carriers
Then let me know how it went.
10. Eliminate Slogans
Slogans must go
They’re all just for show.
But do it right the first time!
11. Eliminate Work Standard quotas,
Get Leadership. (Eliminate management by objective and replace with management by method.)
Not how many or when
Leaders again!
Will this keep our production at max?
12. Allow the worker pride of workmanship (abolish performance appraisals)
Work and have pride
We’re on the same side.
Be proud if you do the job right!
13. Institute program of education, self-improvement.
Encourage their learning
For whatever they’re yearning.
Are we sure we want them that smart?
14. Do it. Everyone do it.
So let’s all get to it
Just get up and do it.
Please let me know when it’s done.

The company went under
Due to somebody’s blunder
I don’t understand it at all.

We did all the rules
Attended the schools.
That Deming stuff just doesn’t work!

Shortly after this I discovered Dilbert. I never looked back.