Grow from the Bottom, Kill from the Top

Personnel at the work face are the key to organisational success; management is the key to organisational failure.  Good management is critical to quality but management’s ability to ensure success is limited by the staff who work on the front line. Continue reading

I Know a Man Who Can

A short while ago warning lights sprang up on my car’s dash, just an hour into a ten-hour journey.    The engine was still running fine, as far as I could tell, but I didn’t fancy ignoring the warning as that situation could easily change.  So I called the manufacturer’s support line and was put through to the AA (the UK’s Automobile Association, that is)! Continue reading


This is probably the best known quality idea.  It’s sometimes called the Deming cycle but Deming refused to accept credit and usually referred to it as the Shewhart cycle, having learnt it from his mentor, Walter A. Shewhart.  (In fact, Deming credited many of his ideas to his mentor). Continue reading

Seven Deadly Sins

Well, not so much sins as diseases – the seven deadly diseases described by W. Edwards Deming.  In these, he tried to explain why things go wrong and, to me, appreciating this is fundamental to any attempts at improvement.  I’ve already said I’m not a great fan of published programmes – they may have been successful elsewhere but, unless you understand the problems where you are, you can end up slavishly following steps that just don’t address the real need.  Understand the situation you are in and them decide what needs to be done. Continue reading