In response to "Maintenance Required" (April 2016, pp. 14-19):
W. Edwards Deming’s system of profound knowledge (SoPK) is a foundation for supporting a culture that embraces continuous improvement. This approach for increasing employee engagement could be further enhanced through a broader understanding of variation in addition to one representing a statistical frame of reference.
Humans have managed variation as long as they’ve existed. And any successful change effort has involved the four elements that Deming labeled as the SoPK: appreciation for a system, knowledge about variation, the theory of knowledge and psychology.
Walter Shewhart developed the new paradigm for managing variation by merging statistics, engineering and economics. Deming recognized the significance of this discovery, and in 1986, he estimated that it would take another 50 years (2036) before Shewhart’s contributions were more commonly revealed in education, science and industry. Evidence of this movement includes articles such as this one, which is written from the perspective of professors in the humanities or liberal arts.
This article can be applied and used without modification when discussing Deming with members of management. This is one of the better discussions, and it can be fully understood by all levels of an organization.
More facts, fewer anecdotes
In response to "Know Your XYZs" (March 2016, pp. 18-23):
The subject of this article is fascinating and an extremely important issue in the modern workplace. Unfortunately, while there are a few good points, it lacks substantiation. The "research" done by the author is anecdotal, and there are many opinions presented as facts. It seems like this article was written by a millennial, which is a shame because it further perpetuates the stereotype that we are not up to the job.
Chula Vista, CA
Trust before understanding
In response to "Innovation Imperative: A Fresh Mix" (March 2016, pp.45-46):
Peter Merrill has hit another home run with a spot-on article. The entire article can be distilled to his final three-word message: "understanding and trust."
I would reverse the order because trust comes before understanding. If there’s no trust upfront, no effort will be made to strive toward understanding.
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Quick Poll Results
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What is the most critical factor in creating a culture of quality?
- Leadership support and engagement. 52.8%
- Making quality everyone’s responsibility. 29.2%
- Empowering employees. 10.1%
- Driving out fear. 7.8%
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- Knowing which risks to accept, transfer or mitigate.
- Ensuring correct data are used in risk analysis.
Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service
Car Buyers Clamor for Tesla Despite Reliability
Preorders piled up for the Tesla Model 3, amassing about 300,000 just days after the car’s unveiling. Clearly, questions about whether Tesla’s cars are reliable haven’t made a dent with shoppers. Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend buying one because owner surveys have revealed below-average reliability. But Tesla’s strong brand has managed to overshadow concerns about the dependability of its cool, new electric cars.
Faulty Blood Tests, Device Lingers
Two blood-testing devices by Alere have prompted more than 10,000 reports of malfunctions and injuries since being cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002. According to a spokesman from the FDA, Alere is working on an improvement.
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