In, Public Management-The Bush Administration, Paul Soglin, former Mayor of Madison Wisconsin, quotes one of Deming’s 14 obligations of management:
W. Edwards Deming’s point number ten is, “Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workplace.”
In looking for online background on Deming thinking in Madison I came across this explanation of Madison’s start [the broken link was removed], on the US Department of Labor site:
Madison’s quality improvement efforts began after then-Mayor James F. Sensenbrenner and his staff were exposed to the teaching of W. Edwards Deming in 1983. A pilot project at the motor equipment division made substantial improvements in prioritizing repairs, improving communications with customers, reducing steps in the inventory purchasing process and, ultimately, reducing vehicle down time, all of which saved money and improved service at the same time. Based on the success of the pilot, it was decided to expand the philosophy throughout city government. A range of quality improvement projects, with active involvement by union members, saved the city between $1.1 million to $1.4 million over a four-year period, agency heads estimated.
My father, Bill Hunter, was very involved (responsible for it, if you want my version of events) with the effort so I am interested in the results. He wrote up the experience for Deming’s Out of the Crisis (pages 245-247).