Deming on setting Goals

Tolsma, Dennis D. (DDT1@NIOOD1.EM.CDC.GOV)
Thu, 17 Nov 94 11:02:00 EST

> doesn't mean that anything will change. [A balanced budget actually
> > sets a numeric goal, which Deming has long warned against.]
> >
> Hi Stever. Could you cite a reference, or explain why, Deming warned
> against this? (I don't doubt you, I am just curious.)
> Thnaks,
> John
> --
> John Conover, 631 Lamont Ct., Campbell, CA., 95008, USA.

The classic quote, of course, was in the 4-day seminars, when a miscreant
would ask what was wrong with setting goals. "By what Method?", he would
roar. [Doggone it, I miss him.] As to why, it is, I think, because he
wants us to think of systems. In THE NEW ECONOMICS, he says (page 33) "A
numerical goal leads to distortion and faking, especially when the system
is not capable to meet the goal. Anybody will meet the quota (goal)
allotted to him. He is not responsible for the losses so generated." I
have seen this in public health field work, and it is exactly true.

See also his comments on tampering. "Two-dot" management ["What happened
last quarter, mr manager, the net is down"] displays neither system thinking
and nor an understanding of variation.

Finally, let me say to netters that I am leaving the net for a time, new
job, and want to congratulate and thank the group for a fine discourse. I
may be back after I get settled in. The list is an example of profound
knowledge, which Dr. Deming says comes from the outside. Best wishes.

Dennis Tolsma
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Delivering on the Nation's Promise:
Safety and Health At Work...
for All People...
Through Prevention