Posts Tagged W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming’s Improving Quality Approach

W. Edwards Deming was the American who showed first the Japanese and then the world how to improve quality while simultaneously reducing manufacturing costs. The Deming Prize is the oldest and most widely recognized quality award in the world given to both individuals and organizations.

The underlying principle of the Deming approach is continuous self-inspection and self-improvement. In traditional approaches, quality control is a specialized task placed at the end of the manufacturing process. If the product failed to pass inspection, the cost of producing the product was wasted.

Deming showed how to build quality into the manufacturing process by empowering workers through collaboration.

The result was zero defects and improved the quality at less cost.

Deming believed that, in >>>


Two Real Reforms to Improve Learning

Efforts to promote learning (educational reform) have been headline news for many years. If you reflect on the number of reforms attempted in the United States in the last thirty years, you would need many fingers to count them. Then if you reflected on how many of these attempts to improve education are extant, you would be hard pressed to need any fingers.

W. Edwards Deming, the man who brought the meaning of quality as “continuous improvement” to the world, often stated, “ninety-six percent of the problem lies in the SYSTEM, not in the employees.” Deming empowered workers by using internal—rather than external—motivation, as described in the Levels oaf Development.

Here are two examples (of which I can list … >>>


Teaching Is an Art

Teaching is an art, not a science.

There are many things in life that everyone knows exists but that cannot be quantified. Love and friendship are but two simple examples.

• “Bureaucratic solutions to problems of practice will always fail because effective teaching is not routine, students are not passive, and questions of practice are not simple, predictable, or standardized.” —Linda Darling-Hammond from her award winning book, The Right to Learn

•  W. Edwards Deming, the guru of quality, said, “What is most important cannot be measured. The variables are too great.”

Educational theorists have attempted to bring the educational profession to the same status as professionals in the physical and biological sciences. This is exemplified by using the same … >>>


Accountability in Schools and Dentists

My dentist is better than your dentist, and I can prove it!

In a  seminar in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I made the statement that educational leaders have given up their leadership—that they have taken the politicians and business leaders’ approaches of accountability and competition as the models for learning. I should not have been shocked at the resounding applause I received from the 95 educators in the audience.

As I point out in the Epilogue of my book, both accountability as it is now used in high stakes testing—and competition—are counterproductive for learning. I quote the comic book character, Dagwood Bumstead, who said, “You know that makes a lot of sense if you don’t think about it.”

There is >>>


Continuous Improvement

I have previously referred to the kaizen way. This approach is described in the book, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way” by Robert Maurer.

The book addresses two questions: 
–How do people succeed?
–How do successful people stay successful?

The answer is in continuous improvement. BUT HOW IS THIS DONE?

Since a little history helps, I first briefly explain the how the approach works in organizations. Then I share how Dr. Maurer describes both how and why the approach can be used on a personal level.

For those who have read Kerry Weisner’s and my featured cover article in the March 2004 PHI DELTA KAPPAN, the name of W. Edwards Deming will be familiar. (Part … >>>