On My Mind
Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the Quality Management thought leader, died on December 20, 1993 at the age of 93. He, along with Dr. Joseph M. Juran and others, introduced quality-oriented concepts, methods, and tools to Japanese industrial leaders after World War II. American executives started paying attention to Dr. Deming and Dr. Juran in the 1980s because of the success experienced by Japanese companies. I attended Dr. Deming’s Four Day Seminar several times and his Seminar for Statisticians at New York University. He wrote two landmark books late in life: Out of the Crisis published in 1986 and The New Economics published in 1994 (2nd edition). These books are still relevant today. In Out of the Crisis only, Dr. Deming discussed the Chain Reaction, the 14 Points for Management, and the Shewhart Cycle. In both books, he discussed Production Viewed as a System, Statistical Control, the Red Bead Experiment, and the Funnel Experiment. In The New Economics only, he introduced the PDSA Cycle, his System of Profound Knowledge, and Present & Better Practices. Dr. Deming continued to learn and develop his thinking until his death. The works of the Quality Management masters—like Dr. Deming, Dr. Juran, and others—still contain strategic improvement lessons that can be of great value to leaders of organizations today.
I experienced my first hotel fire recently in a brand-named hotel near London. A loud alarm above my bed woke me from a deep sleep at 1:30 a.m. Waking up very confused, I initially thought it was something in my room that triggered the alarm and I was hoping it wouldn’t wake my neighbors. I entered the hallway and realized all alarms were activated. Some of my acquaintances and I exited the building through a back stairwell. We didn’t encounter any hotel staff members until we went around the front of the hotel. They appeared to be putting forth their best individual efforts. However, there were no recognizable crisis systems or processes. The way that members of hotel management later responded to complaints led me to conclude that suggesting improvement ideas was futile.
I attended the Global Quality Futures Workshop in early August in Twickenham, England, which is near London. Our fun day consisted of a visit to Hampton Court, the home of King Henry VIII (1491-1547), followed by a riverboat cruise on the Thames from Hampton Court to Twickenham. It was a delightful way to see the London area from a different perspective. I gave a presentation during the workshop titled, “Dr. W. Edwards Deming: The World of Quality Twenty Years After His Death.” Next year we meet in Tokyo in conjunction with the International Conference on Quality. I will be conducting two more public seminars this year: Strategy Tools for Continuous Improvement on October 22 and Creating Successful Standards on November 6. Both will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Plymouth, MN.
Yukihiro Ando (JUSE, JSQC) and Pankaj Kumar (Tata Steel) recently had published the second edition of their award-winning book titled, Daily Management The TQM Way: The Key to Success in Tata Steel. Daily Management is one of the four core components of Japanese-style TQM and can be considered the foundation. This book represents the best—and most recent—source on Daily Management available in English.