All entries for Wednesday 28 November 2007

November 28, 2007

W. Edwards Deming

I first heard of Dr. Deming while I was doing some research on CMMI, I think. He and Joseph M. Juran are among many other prominent figures who helped to establish and transformed Japanese Industry after the war.

Recently, I started to read the two books that made him world renowned. Out of the Crisis and the New Economics. For me, his writing is a bitter harder to understand than Peter Senge or Peter Drucker. This may because his strong background in statistics and science, which made his writing constructed around theory rather than scenarios.

I believe his works are very unique in many ways. As he stated in the preface of New Economics, his work is for "the people who are living under the tyranny of the prevailing style of management". I can find no better way to state it, as it still holds true today.

Interestingly, contrary to what is applied in the industry, management is consider to be a science.  One of the very original writers and who is considered to be the founding father on this topic Frederick W. Taylor, named his book "The Principles of Scientific Management".

Dr. Deming is the very first few who realised that the problem with quality must be and can only be corrected with its roots, which lies in the management. Chinese say "to let him who tied the bell on the tiger take it off" which means, the resolution lies in the cause. That is perhaps why he left statistical techniques to statisticians, when he made a speech to the Japanese Management in 1950.

Deming's 1950 Lecture to Japanese Management

BTW, in my opinion, Out of the Crisis is better than the New Economics, maybe he was not able to work to as he wanted in his late years.

November 2007

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