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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

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on 12 March 2017
A really worthwhile read for anyone working in organisational performance / management / quality. A classic.
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on 27 October 2013
One of those books that should be read by anyone interested in the economy in general. Bill Edwards Deming is one of my heroes and should be considered the father of modern quality control. As a statistician he was always careful and methodical which means that most what he said made sense (even if you do not agree with him. I loved his dry wit and humor,
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on 30 March 2017
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on 6 August 2002
Although it is many years since I first read "Out of the Crisis" and I have read management books voraciously, it remains for me the one which 'hits the button' most accurately. In a way it is an easy read, and in a way it is not. Dr Deming's approach is characterised by a combination of an unusual degree of rigour for a management book with an unusual degree of humanity. It is precisely this combination which makes it so uniquely valuable. Although many of the principles he puts forward are now accepted almost universally, the way they are put into practice is often lamentable and a re-reading of his penetrating work remains important. Other principles are still regarded as counter-intuitive. It is these which I find the most illuminating. The most useful role of this book is that it should provoke thought and study. So much popular management literature seems to advocate a quick simplistic 'fix'. Dr Deming specifically encourages us to study profoundly. Management simply IS difficult, which is why great managers are so rare. Dr Deming will not lead you astray.
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on 27 August 2008
Edwards Deming's powerful book Out of the Crisis outlines a way to improve American manufacturing by encouraging management to plan for the future and foresee problems to eliminate waste of manpower, of materials and of machine time. Quality must be designed in.

Timeless ideas permeate this book. One of the major themes in the book is that quality must be built in at the design phase. I have seen numbers as high as 80% of the cost is driven in during the design phase.

Deming's 14 points and other ideas have permeated and morphed into many companies in the United States. Lean manufacturing, six-sigma, robust design and more can trace their roots to the work of Edwards Deming.

This book is extremely valuable to understand the historical roots of quality and lean thinking. It is equally valuable as a guide for any design and manufacturing company looking to improve in today's competitive world.

The Re-Discovery of Common Sense: A Guide To: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking
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on 2 October 2001
If you want to read how to turn round a company's fortunes through improving the processes within it, then read this.
Written way back when, but still as true as ever. Gets a bit heavy with statistics at the end, but worth sticking with.
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on 17 August 2011
All statisticians are revolutionaries. They believe that they can change the world, if they can just provide conclusive evidence that their proposed change would be beneficial. This book follows in that tradition when it argues for repeated studies looking for solid statistical evidence before changes are made, and provides simple demonstrations that change in the absence of such studies (for example, a series of changes each prompted by single events, errors, or observations) will increase the variability of the process being controlled, and so do more harm than good.

This book will no doubt find widespread agreement when it states that experienced workers should produce consistent output, subject only to an irreducible minimum of randomly distributed errors. It is subversive when it points out that, once this has been achieved, the power to produce further improvement, and therefore the responsibility for that improvement, lies not with the workers, but with those who control the conditions of work and the procedures for work - their managers. Deming states that those who supervise workers should ideally know something about the work being done. He also states that statistical studies can suggest and then validate proposed improvements, even when the statisticians are not expert in the work.

The message of the book is backed up by accounts of successes by Deming and others in applying simple statistical methods (such as process control charts) and by accounts of failures of traditional knee-jerk management actions, including simple-minded Management By Objectives. These cover service industries as well as assembly line manufacturing. In the context of services, Deming addresses himself to reducing the error rate. General suggestions for this include consistent working practices, the avoidance of sudden demands for panic-rate working, direct contact with the customer to establish their requirements in operational (objective and testable) terms, and the detection of error at the earliest possible occasion, with communication of this error back to its source if that source has not yet achieved consistent statistical control of its output quality, and to a study group to consider procedural changes if they have.

In one example, a company sent 20 supervisors on a 10-week course, at 2.5 hours per week. As a result of the course, the company saw a dramatic improvement in quality, and a decrease in the costs of rework. This book is not the contents of that course. But if your company thinks that quality improvement means giving yearly sermons to its staff, mentioning Deming's successes in passing, this book will explain to them why such an approach is useless or even counter-productive (Chapter 2, Point 10).
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on 19 July 2009
I loved this book. At last a managment book that actually makes sense.
What's best is the focus on how management creates the system that creates the performance, hence no stupid stuff on 1:1s and annual appraisals.

What's missing however is practical applications, so some managers might think that it makes sense but not know what to do next. Still, I loved it.

Pros: Makes sense, and flies in the face of common managment beliefs.
Cons: Some practical applications would be good.
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Having worked in the TQM space for the last 20 years I have to say that few people fully appreciate the importance of Deming’s management method. Contrary to the terminology used (‘Total Quality Management’) it actually deals with creating and sustaining successful organizations. The latter term: ‘sustaining’ has a fundamental importance as organizations should not be run for short term admiration on the stock exchange, but for long term endurance and profit sustainability.

‘Out of the Crisis’ was written in 1986 but it still remains valid, possibly even more than back in the 1980s, as these days far too many managers tend to do their jobs based on gut feeling, or being influenced by an article in the media or on the internet.

You will most likely find the book difficult to read as it relies on a different paradigm and it takes time to adopt it. As such, it needs multiple reads to seep into your subconscious mind and influence your thinking at the base level, so you too can start seeing the world differently.

Obviously, you could ask the question: why change? How can Deming’s view of the world be proven to be superior? Easy: he was one of the key people who converted Japan in the 1950s and 1960s from an economic basket case and a source of shoddy goods into the leading economic power post-1970s.

If you have not read this book, no matter what you do in life, study it. Don't just read it; study it. Your results in life will improve, big time.
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on 28 June 2001
A thorough view of Deming's prescription for American industry in the 1980s. There are many examples simply explained which is good. However, the text is inevitably dated and in particular he makes much of control charts, 'x' and 'R' charts without any simple explanation of what they mean or how they are derived. The book " Four days with Dr Deming" looks much better in this respect.
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