In the book Out of the Crisis, published in1986, Edward Deming proposed 14 elements key to the efficient running of a business, the 14 Points of Transformation (reference summary attached).
In 2014, are Deming’s 14 Points of Transformation still relevant to the running of a modern company? You should take a position, either for or against their contemporary relevance, drawing on Quality Tools and Methodologies in use in contemporary manufacturing or service environments to support your arguments.
1.”Create constancy of purpose towards improvement”. Replace short-term reaction with long-term planning.
2.”Adopt the new philosophy”. The implication is that management should actually adopt his philosophy, rather than merely expect the workforce to do so.
3.”Cease dependence on inspection”. If variation is reduced, there is no need to inspect manufactured items for defects, because there won’t be any.
4.”Move towards a single supplier for any one item.” Multiple suppliers mean variation between feedstocks.
5.”Improve constantly and forever”. Constantly strive to reduce variation.
6.”Institute training on the job”. If people are inadequately trained, they will not all work the same way, and this will introduce variation.
7.”Institute leadership”. Deming makes a distinction between leadership and mere supervision. The latter is quota- and target-based.
8.”Drive out fear”. Deming sees management by fear as counter- productive in the long term, because it prevents workers from acting in the organisation’s best interests.
9.”Break down barriers between departments”. Another idea central to TQM is the concept of the ‘internal customer’, that each department serves not the management, but the other departments that use its outputs.
10.”Eliminate slogans”. Another central TQM idea is that it’s not people who make most mistakes – it’s the process they are working within. Harassing the workforce without improving the processes they use is counter-productive.
11.”Eliminate management by objectives”. Deming saw production targets as encouraging the delivery of poor-quality goods.
12.”Remove barriers to pride of workmanship”. Many of the other problems outlined reduce worker satisfaction.
13.”Institute education and self-improvement”.
14.”The transformation is everyone’s job”.
Deming has been criticised for putting forward a set of goals without providing any tools for managers to use to reach those goals (just the problem he identified in point 10). His inevitable response to this question was: “You’re the manager, you figure it out.”
Summary taken from chapter 2 of “Out of the crisis” quality productivity and competitive position. Deming, WE. 1986
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