Deming in 1980 LO5271

John Zavacki (
Thu, 01 Feb 1996 04:16:48 -0500

Replying to LO5250 --

Dr. Ivan Blanco wrote:
> > From: (Bob Luttman)
> <<< some good stuff deleted here >>>
> > I don't know if Deming every voiced an opinion on LO,but Idon't think he -
> > or other TQM practitioners - have many serious disagreements.
> >
> > Bob Luttman
> I don't think that Deming ever called anything Organizational Learning, or
> a learning organization, or anything like it. But, if we look closer to
> what he advocated we might see that TQM/CQI, when applied in an effective
> way, then we see organizational learning. In one of the cases used in the
> 1980 documentary "If Japan Can, ...", the Nashua Paper Company, one can
> see collective learning taking place. I don't believe that TQM can be
> effectively applied without the application of come notions related to
> organizational learning, because it becomes only a fad.
> Ivan
> "Dr. Ivan Blanco" <BLANCO@BU4090.BARRY.EDU>

The strange world of TQM ("Why TQM Doesn't Work", "TQM is Dead", "A New
TQM"....all titles of articles I've reviewed for Quality Progress
Magazine, and many others as "important") as seen form the outside of the
Quality Professions is a dangerous and expense way to do business. Ivan
puts an interesting spin on it: it needs some notions related to
organizational learning.

TQM, as commonly interpreted, is an extension to Quality Control. It is
an extrapolation of the Juran trilogy of Planning, Control, and Improvment
to the areas of an organization which do not directly effect the product
quality, but do effect the customers' (internal or external) perception of
quality. One of the failures of the TQM extension, in my experience, is a
poor understanding of systems dynamics or General Systems Theory.

Although it may seem politically incorrect, the logical, nay, the rational
basis for quality is the control and feedback elements of the order
fulfillment process. In reading about TQM, many of its champions has
"implemented" it without a Quality Control system underneath it to ensure
a baseline set of controls.

The LO equivalent of a Quality Control System entails each element of the
system knowing its function (personal mastery), the common goal of the
system (shared vision/customer delight), the upstream/downstream,
internal/external effects of their actions (systems thinking), a
corrective/preventive action system (feed back mechanisms/mental
models/quality culture) all coordinated to produce profound knowledge(team
learning/generative learning/creative problem solving.....)

In manufacturing, we have ISO 9000, Mil-Q-9858, and other models which
establish some basic responsibilites, control points, and feedback
mechanisms. These standards and models are couched in a
contractual/legalistic language which makes them seem anathema to the
enlightened. Give them a good read (in particula ISO 9004). They are an
interesting and effective baseline mode for a learning organization.
There is a discipline within them that allows paradigms to shift. The
worked equally well in the age of mass inspection as they do in
organizations of empowered, self-directed teams. Quality Control (and
especially Total Quality Control, as described by Armand Fiegenbaum) is
the sine qua non of the enlightened organization. It provides a benchmark
by which we may measure the variations in products and processes which may
occur in the evolution of the team consiciousness.

In a good manufacturing or orderfulfillment system, the outcome can be
traced to the inputs. The data is preserved without interpretive
contamination so that it may be revisited in order to learn from it.
Craig Johnson, at Florida is working with a team that is completing an ISO
9000 draft for use in education. Many educators I've talked to have the
initial reaction many manufacturers have: we do a good job here, why do we
need this external interference?

Common ground. Kernels of knowledge. Simple model. Grow it to suit the
personae of the organization.

	John Zavacki
	The Wolff Group
	900 James Avenue
	Scranton, PA 18510
Phone: 717-346-1218	Fax: 717-346-1388