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William Edwards Deming was born on October14, 1900 and was a big influencer in Quality Management. His methods are creditedfor how the Japanese economy was able to make a comeback after a devastating WorldWar 2 into becoming an economic powerhouse. One of his works was his famous 14points in which he details how a workplace can be more efficient, generatehigher profits and increase productivity which is similar to what was mentionedin our first lecture as the answers to “Why Six Sigma?” The first point puts the onus on managementto establish constant improvement by redefining what the company’s mission is. Thecompany has to always be a step ahead of its competitors, look for ways toimprove on previous successes and continuously put more resources into developmentand improvement by innovating. In the fifth point, William Deming says that whena company is committed to continuous improvement, it can be very rewarding. Acompany should not rest on its laurels. It should not start a quality project andexpect it to give them rewards forever. Rather, the company should implement anevolutionary way of thinking.

This prevents stagnation and helps the company toprepare for anything the future might bring.Deming’s work with the Japanese created someof the foundations of Six Sigma with his system of rationalizingproduction-process improvement which was based on statistical methods createdby William Shewhart. His method of using beads to teach statistical samplingformed some basis of what we know today as Statistical Process Control (SPC),Statistical Quality Control (SQC) and Total Quality Management (TQM). Thesemethods were heavily used in Japan’s rebuilding efforts after World War 2. He impartedthe idea onto them that quality must be something that is done from the top to andthey must always put target quality and finished quality first in order tomanufacture products with as little problems as possible.

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In the Red BeadExperiment that he showed to the Japanese. Deming showed that rewarding orpunishing production workers was a waste of time when the source of the defectivebeads was the supplier and the process implemented by management.Ironically enough, Deming would be againstthe current ranking system in Six Sigma of using belts. His 12thpoint highlights this: Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Eliminatethe 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 keyactivities at every level and department in the organization. Deming was allabout teamwork.

Getting people to work together as a team rather than beingdirected by an arranged ladder system of belt wielding people.The ideas of William Edwards Deming may seem likea no brainer now but they are things that have become part of our cultureespecially the way we work. His ideas of decency, hard work, personalresponsibility, and sincerity have changed how quality management isapproached.

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