on May 7, 1997
The industrial miracle in Japan is a prime example of what can happen when a nation commits itself to quality and long-range vision instead of the latest illness: "Turning a Fast Buck-itis." Economically, Japan may be in hot water, but in less then 50 years, Japan went from making rubber dog-shit, to turning out some of the highest quality precision work in the world. When Dr. Deming first began speaking in America, America was still riding along on the post-war victory wave. No one would listen to him. The Japanese welcomed him, and even today, traces of his quality-control methods are still seen in the industrial workplace. I believe that proper application of Dr. Deming's priciples could put America back on top and keep it there
on September 17, 2000
What I really liked about Mary Walton's book is that it is ACCESSIBLE. While I certainly sympathize with Dr. Deming's eschewing simplistic slogans and posters to institute the notion of quality, I felt like Ms. Walton broke Deming's theories down into manageable chunks. Having survived reading Deming's "Out of the Crisis", I would have to say that Mary Walton's slim little volume is a much better way to glean the priceless gems of Dr. Deming's wisdom. This ranks right up there with "Liberation Management" as one of the best business books ever written.
on April 13, 2004
Mary Walton presents a detailed biography of the Guru of Quality, Edward Deming, based on her lengthy involvement with Deming and his quality training programs. Also, this book features an introduction by Deming.
The majority of this book is dedicated to Walton's interpretation of Deming's 14 points, which encourages organizations to: have a constancy of purpose, adopt a new philosophy, not rely on mass inspections, not to accept contracts based on price alone, constantly improve processes, train and retrain, institute solid leadership, drive out fear in the workplace, breakdown departmental barriers, eliminate slogans, eliminate quotas, remove barriers to pride in workmanship, and take action to transform the organization.
Walton's book does a good job of presenting Deming's theories, which I highly recommend to newcomers to the quality movement. Those experienced in this area and familiar with Deming's 14 points may not benefit as much from this book, but may enjoy a different take on Deming's ideas and somewhat dated examples.
on December 22, 2007
When I purchased this book in the late 80's I thoroughly enjoyed the story-telling approach of this book. It was a philosophical awakening. Oh, I'd heard of Deming, studied statistical process control, and even read portions of his famous "14 Points for Managers." I often wondered why these ideas never caught on in American.
Later, while working for a Japanese company, Kao, I had what alcoholics called a moment of clairvoyance. An American manager and a Japanese manager were jointly leading a meeting to find the cause of a production problem. The American manager lunged into the old familiar blame game. The Japanese manager calmly turned to his colleague and said politely, "The purpose of our meeting is to find the cause of the problem and develop countermeasures (a Japanese management term)." This brought this book clearly in focus for me. The Japanese got Deming because they were focused on the process of making a better product. American managers, especially MBAs, are focused on the product: selling it. They don't understand the process and won't bother to learn it ' let the engineers do that. The Japanese and Germans strive to continually improve products beyond the control limits set by the customers; they understand the value of providing a product a customer can't live without. It is my opinion that the Japanese methods have gone well beyond Deming. I don't think recent attempts such as ISO-9000 and six-sigma can match these revolutionary, philosophical changes. Deming had it right in the beginning: statistical process control alone won't improve quality. That's all ISO-9000 and six-sigma are: tools for engineers, not managers.
After the biographical information on Dr. Deming, Mary Walton sits through one of Deming's leadership courses. The red bead experiment was an enlightening, and humbling experience for managers who attended these seminars. It gave them an appreciation for how their people, working with poor equipment and inadequate instructions turn out their products. This situation is familiar to most engineers. The author's writing style is very personable with text that is chock full of quotes from Deming himself and others.
From there, the book follows a logical pattern through all fourteen points and seven deadly sins. Then, it's on to numerous examples of how American companies such as Ford Motor Company and Campbell Soups have adopted, or attempted to adopt, Deming management method.
This books is dog-eared now after 20-years for faithful service. It has been my guide through many management positions. After years of thought on the subject, I feel that Deming's methods are an ideal and that companies must strive to follow them or ignore at their peril.
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on July 3, 2002
The old adage applies to this book. There is no management method inside. Walton's work is long in the tooth. Her superficial, journalistic treatment of quality and productivity is poorly understood. She attempts to cover too much ground with too little understanding. It is a stretch to claim Deming's lecture circuit talking points contains a management message.
Deming's genius was as a statistician. He was also a humanitarian. He integrated himself into the Japanese culture to better understand and develop lasting relationships with his hosts. He was generous in donating publication royalties to the fledgling Japanese Union of Engineers and Scientist (JUSE). JUSE's prize bearing Deming's name is a measure of his generosity and humanity, not his management competence. His Japanese lectures on statistical methods, along with the standardization movement were influential in setting Japanese quality efforts in motion. JUSE soon realized that quality, productivity, customer service management, and zero defects required more than Deming could provide.
American publishers elevated Deming to guru status. Written during the mid eighties, this book's target was the US manager starved for some direction with which to combat the Japanese methodical implementation of quality and productivity. The publisher simply cashed in on an American name that had a Japanese quality prize attached to it. Deming's message may have been innovative for the forties, but today statistics-based productivity programs like Six Sigma incorporate a true management method. If you need to learn management statistics, consult "Introduction to Quality Control" by Kaoru Ishikawa.
The Deming "cycle" and statistical analysis is taken from Dr. Shewhart's 1932 work. Deming's 14 "points" and 7 "deadly diseases" are simply exhortations, talking points for the lecture circuit. Two diseases are explained as "beyond the scope of his present discussion" with one sentence of explanation given to each. It is evident that neither Deming nor Walton have the simplest grasp of US labor law.
The case studies include a company that is on the corporate bone pile for failing its environmental management responsibilities, and another in bankruptcy for managing its bottom line with emotion rather than reason.
To be fair, Walton's reportage of the bead demonstration taken from a Deming statistical lecture is worth reading. If purchased used, the value of the bead vignette will recoup the $[money]spent.
Serious students of management philosophy, productivity, and quality should look beyond this meager work toward Ishikawa, Crosby, or Juran.
on January 10, 2015
Excellelent reading. If only the right people would read what this Mr. Deming is willing to share. I keep buying these because I keep giving them to others to read. It all makes perspective important to success. Fantastic Thinker. Deming identifies the problem areas in the workplace, his words remove yhe fog of autority and defines accountability and responsibillity of those who control the quality through effective application of logic and personal drive. Again, Excellentinformation that makes understanding managements position seperated from the influences affecting operational objectives.Get it and read itwithout bias,learn how to identify those that think things out and those that are winging it from day to day. Management AND labor. Mary Walton makes reading a pleasure.
on May 12, 2015
I have little respect for any business professor today since they cannot see the difference between the short and long term impact of algorithms measuring quality, pricing, and customer service. Greed has superseded rationale management ...especially those idiots that moved from CFO to CEO etc. Deming could see the forest through the trees and Six Sigma has no soul and it bites most manufacturers rather than helps.... and yes I am coming at you with a certitude of watching Zenith audio - video and Munsingwear undergarments and Hathaway shirts (the best value of the white shirt era) generally disappear; Motorola stumble, Roger Smith destroy GM (and Robert Lutz barely succeed because of an unbridled ego and bias..not unlike BP's Tony Hayward and the infamous Texans like the Koch Brothers ).
on March 11, 2010
This is a good primer book about Deming but, as other reviews mentioned, not the end all of Deming's work, plus it lacks focus on specific topics. As another review mentioned the Japanese got the whole idea that products/services should not just be "produced" but should "wow" the customer and create desire. This lacks within the global manufacturing environment today.
One of the greatest blind alleys of Deming ideas was that he could not forsee the global shift of production based on cost of labor. He mentioned that lowest cost suppliers/providers should not be taken but that the buyer company should created relationships with suppliers to work with the buying company. Unfortunately the global manufacturing market has demonstrated that manufacturing companies want to have their cake and eat it too. The constant drive to reduce cost inevitability drove companies offshore from their native countries into the arms of near slave wage paying countries such as China and India which lack ethical, environmental, and employment laws. The results of this are in evidence in highly publicized stories about medicine, human and pet food, and toy coating contamination trends.
I also wanted to address that some most of the companies and organizations profiled in the book seemed to have not had the greatest go of it in the 20 plus years since the book was written.
Ford Motor Company: Still in operation, well documented multiple up and downs since the book was written.
GOAL Growth Opportunity Alliance of Greater Lawrence (Lawerence, MA):no current info found, unable to determine if still functioning or not, may not be functioning due to the exit of tech manufacturing from the area and lack of support,no web presence.
Malden Mills: later invented Polartec fleece, great stories related to 1995 fire but bankruptcies due to various reasons, morphed to global company
Honeywell Information Systems, Lawerence (MA) Manufacturing Operations: no current info found, unable to determine if still functioning or not,no web presence.
AT&T Merrimack Valley Works, North Andover MA: shut down after various down sizings and final ownership by Alcatel-Lucent. Production exported to Italy and plant was to be finally closed in 2008. Now a mixed used industrial facility.
Philadelphia (PA) Area Council for Excellence PACE: still around, not sure of the level of functioning, no web presence.
Janbridge,Inc: apparently defunct, later owners had documented legal and tax issues, former president/owner Mary Ann Gould is still active in quality issues and consulting.
Microcircuit Engineering Corporation, Mt. Holly, NJ: no current info found, unable to determine if still functioning or not,no web presence.
Campbell Soup Company, Camden, NJ: Still in operation, well documented since the book was written.
It seems as if Ford, Campbells, and Polartec(Malden Mills) are the only companies still in existance with Malden Mills/Polartec being the one that most espoused the Deming ideal to improve and be a different company than it was before even if it meant undoing the entire prior profile of the company. The AT&T Merrimack Valley Works issue and reports related to its shut down shows how the most efficient quality systems could not help the average worker maintain employment even though Deming says that the employees should shift around within the company. This continued employment obviously doesn't happen within a global manufacturing environment and ownership by multiple entities.
Overall the book is a decent but dated reference and resource tool.
on May 25, 2006
"Deming Management Method" is an outstanding book on the quality management methods advocated by one of the best known quality gurus of the last century. Deming became famous for his teaching on quality that transformed Japan from being a country known for producing shoddy products to one that achieved outstanding success in the 1980s and 1990s.
The author, a close associate of Deming over many years, methodically traces the life and teachings of Deming, explaining his famous 14 points and how they can be used to transform a company into an excellent organisation that produces high quality goods and services to meet customer needs, using motivated people.
The book is an important addition to the library of any manager that wishes to see his/her company achieve success. The readers would also benefit greatly by also reading works by quality gurus that include Crosby, Juran, Ishikawa and Deming himself "Out of Crisis".
Anyone with an interest in QA, Quality improvement and TQM would have an interest in this book.
It is a great introduction and overview of Demings methods of improvement of organizational quality. It chronicles a history of Deming and his work with the Japanese, basically, he gave them what we finally agreed we needed 40 years later.
Deming left a legacy of quality. Walton, who worked closely with him all of those years reveals that legacy.
A great addition to any business library. This book will make you think differently about everyday management and how you approach business.
It is also a good primer for Demings works, Out of the Crisis and The New Economy.