Kaizen®/Lean have been at the heart of many companies success. We know that Kaizen®/Lean needs to be built into every level of a company and become part of everything a company does. It has to be adopted by Everyone, practiced Everyday and Everywhere.
Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a statistician who went to Japan to help with the census after World War II, taught statistical process control to leaders of prominent Japanese businesses. His message was this: By improving quality, companies will decrease expenses as well as increase productivity and market share. After applying Deming’s techniques, Japanese businesses saw great success. He didn’t receive much recognition for his work until 1982, when he wrote the book now titled “Out of the Crisis.” This book summarized his famous 14-point management philosophy.
There’s much to learn from these 14 points. Study after study of highly successful companies shows that following the philosophy leads to significant improvements. That’s why these 14 points have become a standard reference for quality transformation.
- Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
- Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
- Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
- End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
- Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
- Institute training on the job.
- Institute leadership (see Point 12). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
- Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
- Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
- Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
- Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
- Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
- Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
- Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective.
- Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
- Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.
Deming’s points apply to any type and size of business. Service companies need to control quality just as much as manufacturing companies. And the philosophy applies equally to large multinational corporations, different divisions or departments within a company, and one-man operations.
Deming’s 14 points have had far-reaching effects on the business world.
While they don’t really tell us exactly how to implement the changes he recommends, they do give us enough information about what to change. The challenge for all of us is to apply Deming’s points to our companies, departments, and teams. Taken as a whole, the 14 points are a guide to the importance of building customer awareness, reducing variation, and fostering constant continuous change and improvement throughout organizations.
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