Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dr. Deming's Profound Knowledge

The System of Profound Knowledge comes from W. Edwards Deming. Dr Deming said that hard work is not enough. What is needed is a transformation of the prevailing style of management.
The System of Profound Knowledge has four parts. Click on the links to read about them:

  1. Appreciation for a system
  2. Knowledge about variation
  3. Theory of knowledge
  4. Psychology
Deming's "Profound Knowledge" is a system. This means that the four parts interact with one another. Real transformation will only start when there has been some progress in all parts.
For example, these days you can see Shewhart control charts in many manufacturing operations in Europe and America. But most of these companies get very little benefit from the charts because they do not know how to act as part of a system. The only way to get efficient stable processes is to have full co-operation across all departments and outside suppliers to control the variation. To get this co-operation managers need to understand enough psychology to know how to provide the leadership which will focus everyone's attention on getting the best results for the system as a whole.
A lot of mistakes are made during the 'Study' phase of the Plan Do Study Act cycle because results are misinterpreted due to a lack of understanding of the nature of variation.

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