7 Deadly Management Diseases

Now more than ever, it’s imperative to study Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s improvement principles. Read “Out of the Crisis” and you will discover all of his wisdom that is still underutilized even today. This includes The Process of Continuous Improvement, Plan-Do-Study-Act, System of Profound Knowledge, and the especially….

These Seven Deadly Diseases of Management:

  1. Lack of constancy of purpose.
  2. Emphasis on short-term profits.
  3. Personal review systems including evaluation by performance, merit-rating or annual review.
  4. Mobility of management.
  5. Running a company on visible figures alone rather than ‘invisible’ or non-numerical data.
  6. Excessive medical costs.
  7. Excessive liability costs.

Also study his 16 points to understand why your managers continue to default to the status quo:

  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and stay in business, and to provide jobs.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, learn their responsibilities and take on leadership for change.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease cost.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Institute leadership — the aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
  8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
  9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and use that may be encountered with the product or service.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
  11. a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
  12. b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute workmanship.
  13. a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
  14. b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective (See CH. 3 of “Out of the Crisis”).
  15. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  16. Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everyone’s work.

What is preventing companies for doing business “Better, Faster and Cheaper?” The system your company has created has in fact delivered exactly the results you are experiencing. So, do you know what to change, what to change to, and how to change?

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