August 20, 2015 Leave a comment
Every minute somewhere, someone refers to Deming’s term SMART (ie, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based). Lesser known and frequently copied and modified we are now sharing his philosophy of continuous improvement. True to his words, Deming continually modified the wording of his 14 points of continuous improvement.
For quick, late-summer reading we are reminding you with our modified summary of the 14 points. You will discuss an excellent discussion of them in Chapter 2 of Out of the Crisis, by W. Edwards Deming, MIT Press, 2000; originally published in 1982.
A few are counter-intuitive but you decide. Take what you like and leave the rest.
- Provide for the long-range needs of the company; don’t focus on short-term profitability. The goal is to grow the business and add value.
- The world constantly changes, and managers need to adopt their way of thinking. Delays, mistakes, defective workmanship, and poor service are never acceptable.
- Quit depending on inspections to find defects, and build quality into products and processes as they are built. Use statistical process control to minimize biases.
- Do not choose suppliers on the basis of pricing (eg, low bids) alone. Minimize total cost by establishing long-term relationships with suppliers that are based on loyalty and trust.
- Work continually to improve customer delivery and service. Improvement is not a one-time effort; every activity in the process must be continually improved to reduce waste and improve quality.
- Institute training. Managers should know about modern leadership and be able to train workers to become future leaders. Managers also need training to understand the processes of production, delivery, and customer satisfaction.
- Institute leadership. Managers ought help people do a better job and remove barriers that keep them from doing their job with pride. The greatest waste in America is failure to use the abilities of people.
- Drive out fear. People need to feel secure in order to do their job well. There should never be a conflict between doing what is best for the company and meeting the expectations of their immediate job.
- Break down barriers between departments. Create cross-functional teams so everyone can understand the others’ perspective. Do not undermine team cooperation by rewarding individual performance.
- Stop using slogans, exhortations, and targets. It is the process, not the workers, that creates defects and lowers productivity. Exhortations don’t change the system; that is management’s responsibility.
- Eliminate numerical quotas for workers and numerical goals for people in management. Eliminate arbitrary deadlines for development teams that are management by fear. Embrace facilitative leadership.
- Eliminate barriers that rob people of their pride of workmanship. Stop treating hourly workers like a commodity. Eliminate annual performance ratings for salaried workers.
- Encourage education and self-improvement for everyone. An educated workforce and management will propel profits in the future.
- Take action to accomplish transformation. A top management team must lead the effort with action, not simply ‘support’ it.
Let us know what you think by commenting below. For additional methodology and team-based meeting support for your change initiatives, refer to “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need to lead more effective groups, teams, and meetings.
Become Part of the Solution—Improve Your Facilitation and Methodology Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership-training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you’re working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and numerous tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.