All Management is People (Trust) Management

Adapted for education by Robert Hess from Deming’s book: Out of the Crisis (1986)

1) Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service. Everyone in the organization must have the same purpose and work together toward that purpose.

2) Adopt the new data-driven philosophy. Everyone in the organization must adopt the new philosophy—all decisions are based on facts and data rather than opinions. All decisions and improvement efforts are based on expertise, rather than authority.

3) Cease dependence on mass inspection. It is time-consuming for managers to inspect the work of employees. Inspections do not improve quality and are not cost effective. Quality does not come from managers inspecting the work of employees—it comes from managing employees in ways that encourage them to monitor and inspect their own work. People will strive to do quality work where trust exists.

4) End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. You get what you pay for. If you purchase poor quality parts, those parts affect other parts. The organization is a system. One part affects others.

5) Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service. Everyone in the system must constantly be looking for ways to reduce waste and improve quality. In education, waste includes time spent on unproductive activities or less-effective teaching strategies. Service in education is focusing on the needs of students and meeting those needs in more effective ways. Giving people time to think and talk about their work and methods is essential to constant improvem ent.

6) Institute Training. Inadequate training is an enormous waste. There should be continual education and improvement of everyone on the job—self- improvem ent.

7) Institute Leadership. Leadership is not supervision but rather finding ways to help teachers improve. Leadership consists of enabling employees to find joy in doing quality work.

8) Drive out fear. This is an essential element of Deming’s philosophy. Fear is the enemy of innovation and improvement. No one puts forth his or her best effort unless he feels secure. The inverse of fear is trust. Management must relentlessly eliminate anything that inhibits risk-taking, collaboration, and improvement. Fear keeps people from experiencing the joy of labor, which is essential if we want people to do their best work.

9) Break down barriers between staff areas. Teamwork is essential both within and between units. Teamwork requires workers to compensate each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Many minds equate greater knowledge and thus higher quality production. Trust and communication between management and employees ensures efficiency and constancy of purpose. The elimination of fear is essential to the trust that must be obtained for such communication to occur.

10) Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce. Slogans are simplistic. Targets can create fear and a tendency to manipulate the system, to strive for quantity instead of quality. What is important is promoting continual improvem ent.

11) Eliminate numerical quotas or targets for the workforce. The only proper use of data is to help employees to perform better and to take pride in their workmanship. Quotas and targets are not necessary and they tend to limit improvement to a minimum standard. The use of data must never, ever be used to place blame on any employee or group of employees. It is only to provide useful knowledge with which to consider training needs, to adjust methods and processes, and to improve on the way we do things within a system.

12) Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. Management must systematically remove anything that interferes with the pride people take in their work—the most vital but intangible element of quality and improvement. The “joy of labor” is central to Deming’s philosophy and is based on his conviction that people’s desire to do good work and improve is largely intrinsic. Poor performance is not a result of laziness or irresponsibility but rather management’s inadequacy at dispelling fear and at finding ways to ensure that employees are allowed and equipped to do their best work.

13) Encourage education and self-improvement for everyone. There is no shortage of good people—only a shortage of knowledge and skills. People are afraid of new knowledge because knowledge leads to change. One of management’s vital tasks is to help employees overcome the fear of new knowledge. All advances will have their roots in knowledge—in what people learn through training and coaching as they participate in discussion, read, and attend conferences. Ongoing training is essential to professional growth and personal fulfillment.

14) Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job: Teamwork, building consensus, and using everyone’s respective expertise is what makes the restructuring possible. People often know what to do, the problem is that we simply fail to do it. It must be everyone’s goal to make the change to quality.

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