3By What Method?

(How Can We Bring About Improvement?)

After listening to a corporate executive expound on all the ways in which he was going to improve his enterprise, Deming would ask, “By what method?” This disarmed most people. How is it that you plan to improve? Somehow, once executives had decided that they wanted to improve, the rest would fall into place, they thought. It never does. Zero-stage planning on how something is to be accomplished is the most important stage of improvement – without it you have only wishful thinking. Deming offered a number of methods by which one might go about improvement, ranging from his groundbreaking theory of management, to statistical methods, changes within the organizational structure, and international ...

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