Interpretations of Deming’s 14 Points of Management

Introduction to Deming:
W. Edwards Deming conducted a thriving worldwide consulting practice for more than forty years. His clients included manufacturing companies, telephones companies. railways, carriers of motor freight, consumer researchers, census methodologists, hospitals, legal firms, government agencies, and research organizations in universities and in industry. Deming a U.S. business management expert used statistical analysis to formulate quality-control methods in industrial production. His methods, advocating and enlisting the cooperation of the workers in the achievement of high-quality results during the manufacturing process, instead of relying on inspection at the end of the process to find flaws, were credited with the success of Japan’s spot-World War II economic boom. Deming’s ideas of quality and continuous improvement were adopted and implemented by Japanese firms long before many U.S. firms acknowledged their importance. For this reason, a host of Japanese firms developed a competitive advantage in product quality that has been difficult for the U.S. to overcome. U.S. companies, which for many years complacently ignored Deming’s methods, finally began to implement them in the 1980s. Deming’s 14 points for managing and achieving quality have become a watchword in many current businesses globally.

The Deming Method:
Deming was an advocate of ideas proposed in General Systems Theory used in engineering and applied to other academic disciplines. The General System Theory suggests that a unit of study as a system can be identified by a cyclical INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT-
FEEDBACK cycle. The difference that Deming applied to the systems concept for the Deming Method is the presence and importance of the customer as the ultimate definer of quality of a firm’s products or services. Because of the systems nature of this method, the results of acquired feedback from the customer become criteria for modification of product design, changes in input (raw material) specification, alterations in production processes, or changes in output (including distribution). The goal is to ensure that the total product package is constantly monitored and improved to meet or exceed customers’ changing expectations for product performance.
For organizations to successful incorporate this method, Deming proposed and has refined his 14 POINTS. What follows is a listing of the 14 points with a basic interpretation of each
Deming’s 14 Points of Management:

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
At this new economic era the key is competitiveness. The markets are global, are worldwide and if you intend to stay in business, you need to be competitive. To be competitive, the best way is to improve the products or services you offer. But not only improve one time, you need to be constantly improved in order to offer the best of a kind in products or services. Today, an American company competes against not only Japanese but Canadian, Mexican, European,etc. To be successful a firm must be competitive.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
The Western management certainly is behind the Oriental management. We are in a new economic era with more competition, Global markets, technology improvements, and the challenge is huge. American companies and American people need to adopt a new philosophy considering cost reduction, team work, quality and leadership. If we do not, we will see other countries taking advantage from us and our industry.

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
The first thing we need to change is our thinking. To achieve quality does not mean inspection 100%. Inspection costs are high and we need cost reduction. Inspection takes timeand we are looking for better timing, better delivery.
We have to think in quality on Product Design not at the end of the production process but at the very beginning: when a product or service is designed. Quality assurance must be considered since the first stage of production; and probably at the end of the process no inspection will be necessary.

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost.
Move towarda single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust. To be competitive it is very important to have lower costs. We have to minimize total cost; not only the price. Remember that defective units are cost; delay in delivery is cost, excessive inventory is cost, etc. To minimize total cost long-term relationship with suppliers is really important. If you as a customer help your supplier to develop, to improve the quality, you will receive better products so you will win and your supplier too.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
As discussed in the previous point, the total costs involved in the production/service system are high. Continuous improvements in the system will help lower costs through increased productivity and efficiency. This, in turn, should help keep the costs manageable.

6. Institute training on the job.
The Deming video noted that there is a difference between education and training. Management should recognize this and provide the necessary training to their employees. Training should also be ongoing. Continuous improvement of the work force will contribute greatly to the success of the organization.

7. Institute leadership.
The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul as well as supervision of production workers. Leadership empowers everyone. It promotes excellence in everything “we” do. Deming suggests that through leadership at all levels, the organization will be able to achieve success. The old style of management is out.

8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
Fear is both a motivator and de-motivator. Fear motivates, only to the extent that the “job” is done to avoid repercussions. it serves as a greater demotivator as it oppresses individuals creativity. Ultimately the organization suffers in such a negative atmosphere.

9. Break down barriers between departments.
People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service. Barriers impede sharing and cooperation. Organizations today should eliminate the “department barriers” that isolate employees. This isolation inhibits team play that is an essential element for organizational success today. The “team” philosophy can be used outside of sports to create the same cohesiveness within organizations that champion sports teams possess.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity.
Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force. Building quality into operation eliminates the uses of slogans and targets because of continuous organizational improvements.

11. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
Improve operation skills and eliminating quotas will allow employees to experience different tasks on their job. By implementing some of these, employees will feel productive, therefore, will contribute more to the organization. Eliminate methods can improve product and services quality. Methods are operating systems used by the organization during the actual transformation process.

12. Create Pride in the job being done.
1. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workers of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality. All successful quality enhancement programs involve making the person responsible for doing the job responsible for making sure it is done right. Then employment involvement is a critical component in improving quality.
2. Remove barriers that rob people in management and engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual merit rating and of management by objective.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
Increasing the flexibility of an organization’s work force by training employees to perform a number of different jobs. For instance, cross training allows the firms to function with fewer workers, because workers can be transferred easily to areas where they are most needed.

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.
The transformation is everybody’s job. The involvement might range form an individual worker being given a bigger voice in how she or he does the job, to a formal agreement of cooperation between management and labor, to total involvement throughout the organization. Take action.

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