Bill Fox interviewed me and has posted part one of the interview on his web site: Predicting Results in the Planning Stage (sorry, the link has been hijacked to forward to an unrelated page [so obviously I removed the link], I have posted the interview which can now be reached here):
John: I would say the PDSA improvement cycle and a few key practices in using the PDSA properly like predicting the results in the plan stageâ€”something that a lot of the times people do not doâ€”to determine what would be done based on the results of that prediction.
People discover, especially when theyâ€™re new to this stuff, regarding the data that theyâ€™re collecting, that maybe even if they got the results they are predicting, they still donâ€™t have enough data to take action. So you figure that even if that number is 30, they would need to know three other things before they make the change. So then, in the plan stage, you can figure that you need to address these other issues, too. At any time that people are collecting data is useful to figure out, for instance: â€œWhat do we need to do if the result is 30 or if the result is 3?â€ And if you donâ€™t have any difference, why are you collecting the data?
Another important piece is the D in Plan, Do, Study, Act. It means â€œdo the experimentâ€. A lot of times, people get confused into thinking that D means deploy the results or something like that, but thinking of D as â€˜doing the experimentâ€™ can be helpful.
A really big key between people that use PDSA successfully and those who donâ€™t is that the ones that do it successfully turn the cycle quickly.
John: I would say that there are a couple. The followers that want to pin everything to Deming tend to overlook the complexities and nuances and other things.
The other problem is that some of the critics latch on to a specific quote from Deming, something like a one-sentence long quote, and then they extrapolate from that one sentence-long quote what that means. And the problem is that Deming has lots of these one-sentence quotes that are very memorable and meaningful and useful, but they donâ€™t capture every nuance and they donâ€™t alone capture what it really means (you need to have the background knowledge to understand it completely).
They are sort of trying to oversimplify the message into these sound bites, and I find that frustrating. Because those individual quotes are wonderful, but they are limited to one little quote out of hours of videotape, books, articles, and when you donâ€™t understand the context in which that resides, thatâ€™s a problem.
See the full interview for more details and other topics. I think it is worth reading, of course I am a bit biased.