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May 19, 2019

In our 26th "Deming Lens" episode, host Tripp Babbitt shares his interpretation of wide-ranging aspects and implications of Dr. Deming's theory of management.

Topics in this episode include:

  • The 11th of Dr. Deming’s 14 Points –  11A -  Eliminate work standards.  11B - Eliminate Management by Objective, MBO.  Substitute leadership
  • Dr. Deming, “Quality, for the plant manager, is getting his 1200 items out today. He jolly well better get them out.   He doesn’t mind that he doesn’t have quality.    That’s perfectly alright.    But, numbers.  What people need is leadership and help, not just be required to turn out so many.   That will not bring improvement.  That will not decrease cost.”
  • Trouble calls, being placed on hold – not a people problem, rather a system problem
  • AHT, Average Handle Time, the average time to handle a call
  • What about variation in Handle Time?
  • AHT goals can make service worse, not better
  • The usual games of meeting Handle Time goals, including calls being ended early by the agent
  • Look for evidence of Handle Time goals when watching service providers at work
  • Other than the worker having numerical goals (quotas) placed upon them, they are also placed on members of management
  • Goals for quarterly dividends
  • Game being played, including early shipments, making the numbers “look better”
  • MBO still prevalent today
  • SMART goals, Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely
  • What about seeing systems and understanding variation?
  • Neo-Taylorism, serving to reduce synergies
  • Deming, “A quota is incompatible with never-ending improvement”
  • By what method (will the goal be achieved)?
  • Once you hit the goal, are you done?

Dr. Deming's 14 Points are fully covered in Out of the Crisis. The New Economics presented his later thinking about the 14 points.