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William Edwards Deming was born on October
14, 1900 and was a big influencer in Quality Management. His methods are credited
for how the Japanese economy was able to make a comeback after a devastating World
War 2 into becoming an economic powerhouse. One of his works was his famous 14
points in which he details how a workplace can be more efficient, generate
higher profits and increase productivity which is similar to what was mentioned
in our first lecture as the answers to “Why Six Sigma?”

The first point puts the onus on management
to establish constant improvement by redefining what the company’s mission is. The
company has to always be a step ahead of its competitors, look for ways to
improve on previous successes and continuously put more resources into development
and improvement by innovating. In the fifth point, William Deming says that when
a company is committed to continuous improvement, it can be very rewarding. A
company should not rest on its laurels. It should not start a quality project and
expect it to give them rewards forever. Rather, the company should implement an
evolutionary way of thinking. This prevents stagnation and helps the company to
prepare for anything the future might bring.

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Deming’s work with the Japanese created some
of the foundations of Six Sigma with his system of rationalizing
production-process improvement which was based on statistical methods created
by William Shewhart. His method of using beads to teach statistical sampling
formed some basis of what we know today as Statistical Process Control (SPC),
Statistical Quality Control (SQC) and Total Quality Management (TQM). These
methods were heavily used in Japan’s rebuilding efforts after World War 2. He imparted
the idea onto them that quality must be something that is done from the top to and
they must always put target quality and finished quality first in order to
manufacture products with as little problems as possible. In the Red Bead
Experiment that he showed to the Japanese. Deming showed that rewarding or
punishing production workers was a waste of time when the source of the defective
beads was the supplier and the process implemented by management.

Ironically enough, Deming would be against
the current ranking system in Six Sigma of using belts. His 12th
point highlights this: Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Eliminate
the annual rating or merit system. Pride in a job well done, but in whose eyes?
QFD clarifies what the customer needs and then translates that into key
activities at every level and department in the organization. Deming was all
about teamwork. Getting people to work together as a team rather than being
directed by an arranged ladder system of belt wielding people.

The ideas of William Edwards Deming may seem like
a no brainer now but they are things that have become part of our culture
especially the way we work. His ideas of decency, hard work, personal
responsibility, and sincerity have changed how quality management is

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