2.1 Deming's Message

Deming encouraged the Japanese to adopt a systematic approach to problem solving, which later became known as the Deming or Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle Fig.2.1. Deming, however, referred to it as the Shewhart Cycle, named after his teacher W. A. Shewhart [1931]. He subsequently replaced "Check" by "Study", as that word reflects the actual meaning more accurately. Therefore an alternative abbreviation for the Deming Cycle is PDSA Cycle. Deming also pushed senior managers to become actively involved in their company's quality improvement programmes. His greatest contribution to the Japanese is the message regarding a typical business system. It explains that the consumers are the most important part of a production line. Meeting and exceeding the customers' requirements is the task that everyone within an organisation needs to accomplish. Furthermore, the management system has to enable everyone to be responsible for the quality of his output to his internal customers.

Fig 2.1 PDCA Cycle

Deming's thinking in the late 1980's can best be expressed as Management by Positive Co-operation. He talks about the New Climate (organisational culture) which consists of three elements. He has referred to this New Climate as 'Win: Win', as opposed to the 'I Win: You Lose' attitude engendered by competition. In his seminars in America in the 80's, he spoke of the need for 'the total transformation of Western Style of Management'. He produced his 14 Points for Management [Deming, 1989], in order to help people understand and implement the necessary transformation. Deming said that adoption of and action on the 14 points are a signal that management intend to stay in business. They apply to both small and large organisations, and to service industries as well as to manufacturing.

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