Monthly Archives: September 2004

How to Create Unethical, Ineffective Organizations That Go Out of Business.

Comment on How to Destroy Morale #1 from the excellent Agile Management Blog.If you want to learn to be more like Morris the Deming Institute has a seminar for you: How to Create Unethical, Ineffective Organizations That Go Out of Business. Full disclosure, I played a small part in helping design the seminar. Serious the seminar is designed to help managers focus on the poor practices most complain about in the morning and then tolerate or actual practice in the afternoon. The seminar is designed to provide practical alternatives practices that will improve results.

Robert Rodin will speak on his experience as the CEO of Marshall Industries at the seminar. He wrote an excellent book on the experience of transforming Marshall Industries: Free, Perfect and Now.

John Hunter

Management Improvement History

Originally posted to the Deming Electronic Network, 22 Sep 1999, in response to this message (link removed because it was broken).

I would like to say that I think it is good that we have disagreements on the DEN. I think it is a strength of the DEN, not a weakness. However, I think we sometimes get to personal with no real purpose. One example of this, for me, is: “Well, I guess we knew different Demings. Mine was a teacher named Dr. W. Edwards Deming.” I doubt this statement is meant to be taken literally, and if it is not I do not see what it adds to the discussion. I point this out not because I think this is some bad act that should be punished but that I think we need to continue to develop a sense of how we wish to express our disagreements and I think that we should try to do so more constructively.

For the past 60 years we’ve been looking for the magic bullet that will improve the quality of our products, services and lives. In the 1940s, we applied statistics through sampling, SPC and design of experiments to improve our products. In the 1950s, we used quality cost and total quality control to bring about quality improvement. In the 1960s, zero defects and MIL-Q-9858A drove the quality improvement process. In the 1970s, quality circles, process qualification and supplier qualification became key quality issues. In the 1980s, employee training in problem solving, team activities and just-in-time inventory were the things to do.”

I find this statement so far from the truth that it would seriously damage any PDSA with this as an accepted assessment of history. I do not believe Deming had such an inaccurate view (of course I may be wrong). I do believe we need to improve our practice of Quality (and to do that we need to understand what happened in the past and why it was not more successful). The idea that Design of Experiments (DoE) was at the core of some Quality Movement to me is not at all accurate.

Continue reading

Curious Cat Article Connections

We have added a new section to our web directory, Curious Cat Cool Connections. Curious Cat Article Connections provides focused topical collections of articles, reports and web sites on topics including: investing, management, health care and technology.Since the topics included just reflect what happens to spark my interest, it likely will retain an acclectic nature. I select related documents that I find worthwhile on each topic. Feel free to send me links to articles you would like to see include using the feedback option (found on the footer of every page of the site or here).

John Hunter

New Management Improvement Library Articles

The Curious Cat Online Management Improvement Library includes hundred of online documents that have been individually selected as worthwhile for those interested in improving performance. The articles, reports, files, handbooks and guides touch on many areas of management improvement including: customer focus, lean manufacturing, systems thinking, understanding and managing with variation, six sigma, design of experiments, statistics, innovation, creativity, pychology, joy in work, continual improvement, mistake proofing (Poka Yoke), leadership, teams, process improvement and project management.

Recent additions to the Curious Cat Online Management Improvement Library include:

  • Six Sigma Sharpens Services by Zachery Brice
  • Quality Best Practices in Government by Thomas J. Mosgaller
  • Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos by Alan Deutschman
  • Making the Business Case for Agile Management by David J. Anderson (on software development)
  • My Thoughts after 6 Sigma Conference by John Hunter

For links to these, and other new additions, visit the New Additions page of our library. Please contact me, if you are interested in having us include your article in the library.

John Hunter