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December 6, 2011

A Review of ‘The Deming Dimension’ by Henry Neave

Henry Neave knew W Edwards Deming well and worked with him, and he has produced this book as an accessible summary of the vast range of Deming’s thinking. The book is well written and very readable – with a warm-hearted respect for its subject. While Deming’s own material can be “opaque”, Mr Neave’s book provides
November 19, 2011

Beware the Unintended Consequences of Performance Measures

What are the behaviours that your organisation’s performance measures encourage? The fact is that all performance measures have consequences and, sometimes, those consequences are unintended, or unforeseen.Let us take an example. Consider a company where “machine efficiency” or “labour efficiency” are KPI’s for managers. What do you get? Well, I can assure you that you
November 9, 2011

Review of “Understanding Variation” by Donald Wheeler

Many management reports compare the current period with this time last year, or with a budget or target figure. Such single-point comparisons, however, ignore the fact of natural variation in all processes and, therefore, can tell us very little.   The answer is to present data as a time series with control limits that define
October 6, 2011

An Alternative to the Red Bead Experiment

Davis Balestracci, in this post in Quality Digest Magazine, offers a simpler alternative to the red bead experiment for training – http://www.qualitydigest.com/aug06/departments/spc_guide.shtml
September 14, 2011

Is lean in danger of becoming the new Puritanism?

Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the lean philosophy and am a keen advocate of people working together as one team to understand their business processes as a system and working to improve the system holistically. The trouble is that lean is sometimes presented in a way that feels akin to Puritanism – sweeping
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