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W. Edwards Deming created the 14 Deming Principles to describe a way to manage companies. Here’s an elaboration on principles nine through eleven.

Deming Principle #9: Switch it Up When It’s “Us vs. Them” in the Office

Deming.org states that number nine is, “9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.”

He’s seen a worker staff and office staff; the one doesn’t understand the other. He’s had one group do the other group’s job to understand the other’s job. Everytime he sees “us vs them” in the company, he has people swap jobs to experience what it is like on the other side. This creates compassion amongst the employees and a sense of kindness when dealing with one another, because they understand how the other is feeling and what the other has to handle.

Deming Principle #10: Objectives Need to Be Broken Up Into Tasks

Deming.org states that number ten is, “10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals.”

So many companies that manage their staff based on objectives and reaching certain numbers manage by targets. If a company says, “Reach this target goal,” but they do not speak with all of the workers about how exactly to do that, which would include splitting up objectives into tasks and deliverables, then they are setting themselves up for failure. Companies need to ask, “What do I have to do to reach that objective?” Objectives shouldn’t be sloganized, either. For example, saying, “Safety is our number one goal.” That needs to turn into S.M.A.R.T. tasks–specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-based tasks.

Deming Principle #11: Break Down Barriers between Workers and Efficient Outcomes

Deming.org states principle number eleven is, “11. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.”

I just saw a show about how in the early 1900’s, production line workers were pushed to their absolute limit to create the most product in the least amount of time for the least amount of money. This is the absolute wrong approach. Management, not workers, need to realize what will help their workers to be the happiest they can be in their position. They need to figure out what the barriers are that are keeping the workers from performing their best in the best working conditions. Workers cannot do this. It is entirely up to management to make these vital changes. Workers have very little control over these outcomes.

Come back in two weeks for “Elaborating on the 14 Deming Principles: Part Five!”