Do the 14 Points of Dr. W. Edwards Deming Apply Today?

February 04th, 2014

Tags: Demings 14 Points, w. edwards deming, continuous improvement

Is it time to dust off tried and true theory that leads to quality and productivity?  W. Edwards Deming has provided us with a road map and identified the roadblocks that impede an organizations ability to meet and exceed their customer’s requirements.  How about moving from having valued customers to having proponents of what your organization provides, thus increasing your value to the new customers you have yet to service?  Let’s review the 14 points and then you can decide if they apply today.

  1. Create Constancy of Purpose
    • Strive to continually improve products and service delivery with the focus on becoming competitive, staying competitive to remain in business, and providing jobs for your employees.
  2. Adopt the New Philosophy
    • In the new economic age change is a given and management must awaken to the challenges of the fast paced marketplace, ever changing and challenging demands of customers, and learn their responsibility to become the leaders of change within their organizations.
  3. Cease Dependence on Mass Inspection
    • Eliminate the need for inspections of all products and services by building the quality in with your robust processes.
  4. Constantly and Forever Improve the System
    • Continuously work to improve your systems of production and service delivery to increase quality and productivity while continually reducing waste and cost.
  5. Remove Barriers
    • Remove the barriers that impede your employees from their right to pride of workmanship. Supervisors responsibilities must change from stressing sheer numbers to stressing quality. Remove the barriers that impede managers and engineers from their right to pride of workmanship. Get rid of annual merit ratings and management by objective. These are the barriers to continuous improvement of quality and productivity.
  6. Drive out Fear
    • Drive out fear by creating an atmosphere of mutual respect for all employees regardless of the level within the organization so that everyone may work effectively for the organization.
  7. Break Down Barriers between Departments
    • Departments and functions within the organization must work together as a team to foresee issues of production and use by customers that may be encountered with your products or service delivery. People across your supply chain from research, to design, to sales and marketing, to production, and to service delivery must function as a team. Driving our fear is the first step toward breaking down the barriers between departments.
  8. Eliminate Numerical Goals
    • Get rid of slogans, exhortations, and targets for your organization’s workforce that prescribes no defects and ever higher levels of productivity. If the system is not continuously improved your future results will be the same as your current results.
  9. Eliminate Work Quotas
    • Leadership is the driver behind continuous improvement in quality and productivity and thus customer satisfaction, retention, and growth. Get rid of management by objective, by numbers, and by numerical goals. Leadership is the driver. Why settle for some arbitrary number, quota, or goal that once achieved stifles continuous improvement?
  10. Institute Modern Methods of Supervision
    • Focus on leadership where the aim is to help and guide your organization’s people, the machines, and the gadgets to continuously do a better job. This applies to supervision of management as well as employees within your organization.
  11. Institute Modern Methods of Training
    • To improve systems and continuously improve quality and productivity requires a commitment to continuing training and education of all employees within the organization. Reducing variation is the focus and training and education are the cornerstones of consistency.
  12. Institute a Program of Education and Self-Improvement
    • As the 14 points are embraced by an organization and continuous improvement becomes a way of operating the business there will be a reduced need for resources because of the reduction in waste. You will require less space, material, cumbersome and redundant methods, equipment, and people. Resources are then free for reinvestment, but organizations must not forget to reinvest in the most important asset, their people.
  13. End the Practice of Awarding Business on Price Alone
    • Awarding business on the basis of price must be replaced by minimizing total cost. Single suppliers for any one item based upon a long term relationship of loyalty and trust reduces variation, assures consistency, and yields minimum total cost.
  14. Put Everybody to Work to Accomplish the Transformation
    • The most difficult of the 14 points to implement is getting the whole organization onboard so they realize that the transformation is everybody’s job.  Organizing for quality through the management structure within the organization is the starting place.  The transformation starts with training, followed by removing the inhibitors to improvement, and having trusted consultations with an expert for guidance.

After reading this review I believe the answer is yes, the 14 Points apply today and well into the future. Dr. Deming defines quality as “Continually meeting customers’ needs and expectations at a price they are willing to pay.” What do you think?

For more details refer to the book by W. Edwards Deming, “Out of Crisis,” Library of Congress Catalog Card Number HD70.U5D45 1986 658 84-73346.

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