mercredi 31 octobre 2007

The Red bead experiment (with 30 min video)

The “Red Bead Experiment” was an interactive teaching tool that Dr. Deming made use of in his four-day seminars. In the experiment, a corporation is formed from “willing workers”, quality control personnel, a data recorder, and a foreman. The corporation's product is white beads, which are produced by dipping a paddle into a supply of beads. The paddle has 50 holes in it, and each hole will hold one bead. Unfortunately, there are not only white beads in the bead supply, but some defective red beads. The production of the beads is strictly controlled by an approved procedure.

Various techniques are used to ensure a quality (no red bead) product. There are quality control inspectors, feedback to the workers, merit pay for superior performance, performance appraisals, procedure compliance, posters and quality programs. The foreman, quality control, and the workers all put forth their best efforts to produce a quality product. The experiment allows the demonstration of the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the various methods. Some humor is also included along the way.

Describing the Red Bead Experiment has all the dangers of writing a good movie review. One does not want to give out the complete plot line in the description. Suffice it to say that at the end of the experiment, what is discovered is that several of the actions taken (which are commonly seen every day in the workplace) were detrimental to the employees and the workplace, and had no improving effect on the process. The concluding comments point out the hazards of misuse of performance data.

Deming's Philosophy (30 min Videos)

Below is a nice 30 minute overview video of the Deming teachings and Deming philosophies.

The Deming's Fourteen Points

Deming’s 14 Points (1990 revision) reprinted from Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming by permission of MIT and W. Edwards Deming. Published by MIT, Center for Advanced Engineering Study, Cambridge, MA 02139. Copyright 1986 by W. Edwards Deming.

1. Create and publish to all employees a statement of the aims and purposes of the company or other organization. The management must demonstrate constantly their commitment to this statement.
2. Learn the new philosophy, top management and everybody.
3. Understand the purpose of inspection, for improvement of processes and reduction of cost.
4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone.
5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service.
6. Institute training.
7. Teach and institute leadership.
8. Drive out fear. Create trust. Create a climate for innovation.
9. Optimize toward the aims and purposes of the company the efforts of teams, groups, staff areas.
10. Eliminate exhortations for the work force.
11a. Eliminate numerical quotas for production. Instead, learn and institute methods for improvement.
11b. Eliminate MBO. Instead, learn the capabilities of processes, and how to improve them.
12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship.
13. Encourage education and self-improvement for everyone.
14. Take action to accomplish the transformation.

dimanche 28 octobre 2007

When W. Edwards Deming met Kaoru Ishikawa after WWII

Deming first visited Japan in 1947 to assist SCAP [Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers] in surveys of housing, agriculture and unemployment. At the same time, the communications section of SCAP was teaching Japanese industrialists (particularly in electronics) the fundamentals of statistical control of quality. While the techniques taught were based on those he and others had developed through the 1920s and 1930s, he was not involved in that initial teaching.

The managing director of JUSE [Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers] at that time was Kenichi Koyanagi. It was he who asked Deming to speak at a dinner in Tokyo in July 1950.

Read more ...

How General MacArthur allowed Japan to become First Quality Industrial Nation - part I

This is not a story you expect. And it's the sort of lesson that's so important that we as a society have already forgotten it.

Homer Sarasohn, who lives with his wife in a retirement complex in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a gentle man with an owl-like face, Sarasohn never planned to go to Japan. He really wanted to be a gynecologist, but couldn't afford to go to medical school during the Depression. So Sarasohn fell back on his undergraduate physics degree, and went to work before the war designing radio transmitters. When the Second World War came along, he served as a paratrooper, then later resumed his radio work, joining the staff of the MIT Radiation Laboratory.

Read more ...

dimanche 21 octobre 2007

W. Edwards Deming

After the broadcast in 1980 of an NBC White Paper entitled "If Japan Can, Why Can't We?", Edwards Deming became tremendously famous within the US industries for his work in Japan, which started in 1950 wich created a revolution in quality and economic production.

Edwards Deming first visited Japan in 1947. At the request of general Mac Arthur, he began to teach Japanese managers and engineers the statistical theories and practices necessary to successfully implement quality control.

In 1960, the Emperor of Japan decorated him with the Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure. Japanese scholars created in his honor the annual Deming Prize. In 1987, President Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Technology.

Today, Edwards Deming is honored worldwide as the "Father of the Third Wave of the Industrial Revolution." He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and is the author of several books and 170 papers. Two of his recent books are Out of the Crisis and The New Economics for Management.

More on Deming

by Nancy R. Mann

After Ed Deming's graduation from the University of Wyoming in 1921 as an engineer, he remained there another year to study mathematics. It was during that time that, as he once told me, he received a letter from the Colorado School of Mines. The letter informed him that he was known to be a good flute player and that the professor of physics wanted to have a band and therefore would like him to come to teach. He accepted the invitation and, after a year, decided to get a master's degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Colorado. Just before he completed his degree, one of his professors who had studied at Yale with Willard Gibbs, a famous mathematician and physicist, recommended him to his alma mater. Yale subsequently offered him free tuition and a job as a part-time instructor, both of which were eagerly accepted.

Upon finishing the requirements for his Ph.D. at Yale in 1928, Ed Deming began his career in government as a mathematical physicist at the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and he remained in that position until 1939. His 38 publications during the period had to do principally with the physical properties of matter, but there were several that reflected his interest in statistical methodology. I once asked him why he, a mathematical physicist, became a statistician.

His answer was quite involved: "Courses in engineering and surveying led me to the theory of errors, and in studying physics and mathematics, I learned a lot of probability. Kinetic theory of gases is a theory of probability. So are thermodynamics and astronomy. And so is geodesy, involving measurement of the earth's surface for the purpose of figuring the curvature or other characteristics of the earth. It makes use of least squares. And I had very good teachers in least squares.

"When people had problems with experimental data, I just worked on them and found myself able to make a contribution, of thought anyway. And I suppose that's the way I eased into it."

Analysis of results of experimental work in bacteriology and chemistry gave him a chance to learn about the statistical adjustment of data. There were three papers on "The Application of Least Squares," published in the Philosophical Magazine. In his book, Statistical Adjustment of Data, published in 1943, he brought together, in readily usable form, the substance of these papers and of the earlier literature and his own studies on the subject. This text is still frequently consulted for guidance on the application of the method of least squares in various situations.

From 1930 through 1946, Ed Deming was a special lecturer on mathematics and statistics in the Graduate School of the National Bureau of Standards. His courses later inspired many lectures and articles by his students. These paved the way for the establishment in 1947 of the Statistical Engineering Laboratory within the Bureau of Standards. During an overlapping period that extended from 1933 through 1953, he was head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of the Graduate School of the USDA and made major contributions to the mathematical and statistical education of a whole generation. In 1936, he went to London to study the theory of statistics with Ronald Fisher at University College, the University of London.

While at University College, Ed Deming met and attended lectures by Jerzy Neyman, who had been Head of the Biometrics Laboratory of the Neeki Institute in Warsaw, Poland. Neyman read, at a meeting of the Royal Statistical Society, a revolutionary paper: "On the Two Different Aspects of the Representative Method: The Method of Stratified Sampling and the Method of Purposive Selection." As a result of the lectures and particularly this paper, which marked the beginning of a new era in sampling, arrangements were made for Neyman to visit the USDA Graduate School in 1937 and lecture there.

Ed Deming took pains to ensure that Neyman's lectures in Washington were well attended by U.S. Government statisticians, and he worked an entire year to produce the book Lectures and Conferences on Mathematical Statistics. The lectures and the book together had a tremendous impact on sampling theory.

The staff of the Bureau of the Census was already planning in the late 1930s for the 1940 Population Census. Users of census data have always wanted more information than can possibly be provided with a normal budget. Many of them were willing to accept sample results but some of the old timers at the Bureau were opposed to the idea of sampling. "Sampling was abhorred," Ed Deming told me, "because the census had always been complete. It couldn't be anything other than complete. But sampling was in the air."

The final decision rested with Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins. After listening to the arguments pro and con, Hopkins decided that sampling procedure would be used in the 1940 population census. "Well," Ed told me, "one day in 1939 the telephone rang, and it was Dr. Philip Hauser, the Assistant Director of the Census Bureau, wanting to talk with me about a job. I said 'Right away!' and joined the Bureau of the Census as Head Mathematician and Advisor in Sampling."

After leaving the Census Bureau in 1946, Ed Deming began his practice as a Consultant in Statistical Studies from an office in the basement of his home in Washington, DC. For the remainder of his life, he conducted his consulting from this office, aided for many years before her death in 1986 by his wife Lola, a distinguished mathematician in her own right. For almost 40 years he was also assisted by his extraordinary secretary, consultant, and confidant Cecelia Kilian, known to hundreds of people throughout the world as "Ceil."

At the same time that he began his consulting practice, Ed Deming joined the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University as a full professor. Before he "retired" from NYU in 1975 to become Professor Emeritus, he regularly taught two courses in survey sampling and one in quality control; and he served as advisor to about 100 students who earned their master's and doctoral degrees. The fact is that until a few months before his death, Ed Deming continued to teach at NYU every Monday during the academic year and to direct the studies of graduate students. I asked him on one occasion if NYU didn't have some sort of policy concerning retirement of academic and other personnel at age 65 or 70. His response was, "Well, if they did have, they didn't tell me about it." He also taught Monday mornings during the last few years of his life as a "Distinguished Lecturer" at Columbia University, where a Deming Center has been established.

Ed Deming's entrance into the world of quality improvement was inspired by the 1931 book Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product, written by his friend and mentor Walter Shewhart, the father of statistical process control. In 1938, he arranged for Shewhart to deliver a series of four lectures entitled "Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control" at the USDA Graduate School. These lectures were published by the Graduate School in 1939 "with the editorial assistance of W. Edwards Deming."

The crusade that Ed Deming subsequently undertook for the improvement of quality resulted, as we know, in the economic renaissance of Japan and eventually in his own worldwide prominence as a "prophet of quality" and philosopher of management.

Ed Deming's extensive contributions to statistical thinking are too voluminous to suit the present purpose. It suffices to say that, throughout his life, he championed the belief that statistical theory shows how mathematics, judgment, and substantive knowledge work together to the best advantage. Thus he himself was a master as logician and architect of statistical studies.

Ed Deming died quietly in his sleep on December 20, 1993, surrounded by family.