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Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management

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Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management


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  • Copyright 1995
  • Pages: 256
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-63366-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-63366-5

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the legendary master of managing for quality whose techniques helped propel Japan into its postwar economic boom, delivered his management message in the form of four-day seminars. Now you can experience the wisdom of his seminars with this unique book.

Reviewed in detail by Dr. Deming himself before his recent death, Four Days with Dr. Deming compiles and summarizes the essence of his seminars in a remarkably entertaining and easy-to-absorb style. Through the voices of Dr. Deming, the authors, and a company executive, you will learn about the problems with prevailing management systems that focus on such short-term strategies as quotas and management by results. You will discover how to move beyond these counterproductive strategies to achieve true cooperation, process improvement, and long-term productivity.

The book includes Dr. Deming's most recent thinking on the System of Profound Knowledge, as well as purchasing strategies, cross-functional teams, alternatives to quotas, operational definitions, and systems of measurement. The unique one-concept-per-page visual format allows you to absorb complex material quickly, and the real-life examples make Dr. Deming's message concrete and usable.


Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. Deming.




Who Is Dr. Deming. More on Dr. Deming's Background. Background-Japan after World War II. Dr. Deming Teaches in Japan. Why Should I Read This book. How to Read This Book. Overview.


1. The Need for Transformation of Western Management.

Dr. Deming Lectures to a Packed Convention Hall. Why Are We Here. Historical Perspective. Is America Prosperous or Are We in Trouble. America Is in Trouble-More Is Going out than Coming in. Aren't We Still Leaders in Agriculture. What American Industry Brings in the Most Dollars. What Factors Have Led to American Prosperity in the Past. What Is the Definition of a Colony. Something Has Happened to America. Reflections During Coffee Break. To Achieve Quality There is No Substitute for Knowledge. Quick Fix-Machinery and Automation. Quick Fix-Just In Time (JIT). Quick Fix-Cost Cutting. Quick Fix-Suboptimization of People and Technology. Quick Fix-Management by Results. Quality Is Made in the Boardroom-Not on the Factory Floor Forces of Destruction. Story of the Art Class. The Prison. Comments Overheard in the Prison Compound. Escape from Prison.

2. A System of Profound Knowledge.

What Is a System of Profound Knowledge. What Is a System. The Importance of Interdependence in a System. An Example of the Systems Concept-Customer/Supplier Flowchart. How to Suboptimize a Firm. Theory of Variation. Variation Is So Easy to Understand. Theory of Knowledge. There Is No Such Thing As a True Value. Psychology. Reflections During Lunch.

3. Obligations 1 through 5.

Obligation 1-Constancy of Purpose. Obligation 2-Adopt the New Philosophy. Obligation 3-Cease Dependence on Mass Inspection. The Hazard of 100 Percent Inspection. When to Use Mass Inspection. Three Worlds-Rules for Inspection. Inspect the Process-Not the Product. Obligation 4-End the Practice of Awarding Business on the Basis of Price Tag Alone-Instead Reduce Cost by Reducing Variation. Buying on Price Tag Alone. Comparison of Suppliers. Taguchi's Use of the Loss Function. Three Worlds for Purchasing. Reduce Variation through Long-Term Relationships. What About the Purchase of a Commodity. Single Supplier Policy. What If Your Supplier Has a Fire. Obligation 5-Continual Improvement. Innovation and Improvement. Where Does Innovation Come From. The Shewhart Cycle for Learning and Improvement. Evening Study Group. Reflections on Day One.


4. Obligations 6 through 9.

Dr. Deming Autographs His Book. Hands against the Wall. Obligation 6-Training for a Skill. Why a Leader Must Be a Trainer. Obligation 7-Leadership. Doing Your Best is Not Good Enough. Obligation 8-Drive Out Fear. Blaming the Worker. Obligation 9-Break Down Barriers between Staff Areas. Why Don't People within an Organization Cooperate. Independent Kingdoms versus Cross-Functional Teams. We Need a Theory of Cooperation. Cooperation Will Lead to More Standards. Cooperation and Darwin.

5. The Red Beads.

The Workers Are Instructed. The Red Beads-Production-Day 1. The Red Beads-Production-Day 2. The Red Beads-Production-Day 3. The Red Beads-Production-Day 4. Keeping the Plant Open with the Best Workers. The Red Beads-Production-Day 5. Red Beads Chart. The Light Goes On. Day Two-Afternoon. It Is So Easy to Be Fooled by Figures. What Can We Do to Reduce the Proportion of Red Beads. How Did This Come About. Two Kinds of Mistakes. How Do You Make Red Beads. As a Result of the Red Bead Experiment-the Japanese Went to Work Straight Away. I Am Learning.

6. Obligations 10 through 14.

Obligation 10-Eliminate Slogans, Exhortations, Arbitrary Targets. Why Do Exhortations and Arbitrary Targets Create Frustration. Obligation 11-Eliminate Numerical Quotas for the Workforce. Incentives Are Quotas. What About a Person Who Doesn't Give a Hoot. How to Survive When the Company Insists on a Quota. Alternatives to Quotas-Change from MBO to MBP. Obligation 12A-Remove Barriers to Pride of Workmanship. Obligation 12B-Drop the Annual Merit Review. Obligation 13-Education and Growth. Obligation 14A-Take Action to Accomplish the Transformation. Obligation 14B-An Example (Caution-Do Not Use Without Theory).


7. The Seven Deadly Diseases.

The Seven Deadly Diseases. Deadly Disease 1-Lack of Constancy of Purpose. Deadly Disease 1-How to Develop Constancy of Purpose. Deadly Disease 2-Emphasis on Short-Term Profits. Worldwide Steel Recession. Deadly Disease 3-Evaluation of Performance, Merit Rating, or Annual Review. Deadly Disease 3-Evaluation of Performance, Merit Rating, or Annual Review (Continued). Deadly Disease 3-Alternatives to Evaluations. Deadly Disease 4-Mobility of Management. Deadly Disease 5-Running a Company on Visible Figures Alone. Running a Company on Visible Figures Alone (Continued. Take Time to Understand the Figures. Study the Process, Not the Results Alone. Deadly Disease 6-Excessive Medical Costs. Deadly Disease 7-Excessive Legal Costs.

8. Obstacles.

Obstacles to Getting the Job Done. Obstacle-Hope for Instant Pudding. Obstacle-Hope for Instant Pudding (Continued). Obstacle-The Supposition that Solving Problems, Automation, Gadgets, and New Machinery will Transform Industry. Obstacle-The Search for Examples. Examples without Theory Teach us Nothing. Obstacle-The Search for Examples-Plant. Tours Teach Nothing Without Theory. Copying Japanese Quality Control Circles. Obstacle-The Search for Examples-It Is a Hazard to Copy. The Problem with Benchmarking. Obstacle-Obsolescence in Schools. Obstacle-Poor Teaching of Statistical Methods in Industry. Obstacle-Use of Military Standard 105D and Other Tables of Acceptance.

9. The Funnel.

Management and Tampering. Dr. Shewhart's Experiment. The Funnel Experiment. Rule 1-We Make No Adjustment to the Funnel. Rule 2-Adjust the Funnel from its Last Position Vis-a-Vis Target. Rule 3-Bring Back to Origin Before Adjustment. Rule 4-Aim at the Previous Point. What Does it All Mean to Me.

10. Operational Definitions.

Operational Definitions. How Many People Are in the Room. Misunderstandings Are Often Caused by the Lack of Operational Definitions. Reflections on Operational Definitions.


11. Management of People, Leadership, and Training.

The Job of the Manager of People. Why a Leader Must Be a Trainer. The Leader's Job is to Know When Statistical Stability Has Been Reached. The Manager's Job is to Know the Difference between Random Causes and Special Causes of Variation. The Manager's Job is to Dig-To Learn What Is Going On. A Manager's Job is to Dig-To See Who Needs Special Help. The Manager's Job Is to Understand Inspection. The Manager's Job Is to Drive Out Fear So That Control Systems Work Properly. The Manager's Job Is to Drive Out Fear. Reflections on the Manager's Task.

12. System of Measurement.

Be Aware of the Hazards of False Consensus. Independent versus Dependent Inspection. Measurement Requires Operational Definition to Be Useful. Know Your Data. Measurement Requires a Holistic View. The Need to Look at the Measurement over Time.

13. Closing Thoughts.

Service Organizations. Dr. Deming's Theory Applies to Service Organizations. Costly Misunderstandings. Two Types of Quality. Improvement in Performance in a Bank. Dr. Shewhart's Discussion of Quality. The Role of Consumer Research. Analytic and Enumerative Studies-Why versus What. Analytic and Enumerative Studies-Why versus What (Continued). The End.


Where Do We Go from Here. Questions for Discussion.


Some Notes on Statistical Process Control. The Funnel Rules Applied to the Red Bead Experiment. The Four Funnel Rules Applied to the Red Beads.



We conceived the idea for this book when we met at the Toronto Annual Quality Conference. We decided then to write a book about Dr. Deming's message. The book was to be simple to read yet introduce his philosophy in a completely accurate way. We planned to use copious illustrations to make the ideas clearer.

The purpose was to make the message easy to understand. We visualized an executive, flying home after a busy day, who wanted to use the time to study a new theory without undue strain.

Would Dr. Deming like the idea? We began to work on a manuscript and laid out the first chapter with an outline. This we gave to Dr. Deming. He sent this material back, edited and with a letter: "Your idea of a book is exciting. Please continue to work on it, and get it out."

Dr. Deming not only encouraged us but actively reviewed the manuscript and added his ideas. We believe this book represents the most simple, up-to-date, and accurate presentation of his philosophy.

This book is an ideal introduction to the Deming Management Theory. Its organization follows the four-day seminar made famous by Dr. Deming. Over the course of writing the book, Dr. Deming changed the order of presentation and of emphasis. In an early draft we included a table showing the order of a presentation he made only a week before. He wrote on this table, "We have to rethink this." Subsequently he adopted the format we now follow in this book. We like to think that we have had some influence on his presentation.

The book is an ideal study tool. Undergraduate and graduate courses of Management, Organizational Development, and Quality will benefit by using this book. The material of the seminar is presented in 13 chapters - an ideal content for a semester course. The list of questions at the end of the book is useful for studying and exploring the subject matter in depth.

While this book makes a useful text for university courses, it also fills a need as a study tool for in-house training. With appropriate changes in presentation, an instructor can use this book to train all levels of management and workers. The presentation avoids as much as possible the need for any technical knowledge. The authors are working on an instructional guide for in-house training.

Those who have attended Dr. Deming's seminars in the past will find the book to be a refresher of what they experienced. It may even clarify a point that was obscure at the time of the seminar.

For those who have never attended Dr. DemingIs seminar, this book gives the flavor of such an experience. To make people feel the forces at work during the seminar, we use three voices - first is Dr. Deming, who usually introduces the topic. Where we feel that we can contribute to understanding, the authors act as the second voice. An imaginary seminar participant is voice number three. The authors have much experience with the seminars, having acted often as facilitators for Dr. Deming. During this time we met many executives and managers who came to learn, impatient to get on with it but willing to listen. We have observed that changes in the seminar participant take place over time. The lesson of the beads is a particular point of change.

The epilogue was added to help people to continue to study the application of this philosophy. "There is no substitute for knowledge," said Dr. Deming. The best way to effect a transformation is with the help of a master. The authors recognize that there will be those who cannot find a master yet wish to continue studying the ideas. We give some advice that we hope will help these readers in their quest.

For a long time Dr. Deming kept saying that to manage in a competitive world requires Profound Knowledge. It was only in the last few years that he defined what he meant by Profound Knowledge. This book incorporates his most recent thinking on this important topic.

Why did we choose this format? We chose to use a nontraditional format because it is our theory that people learn in different ways. Some people are visual and can learn best when they see pictures. Others are more verbal and prefer to listen to lectures.

Traditional English text is one dimensional. A page really consists of a long line of words. (When read in one direction - left to right - this page is actually a 10-foot line of words.) Research suggests that the human brain converts information like a holograph, in three dimensions. For that reason, TVs, movies, and exhibits are popular ways of learning. Therefore, we have created this book specifically for those who prefer visual learning.

We chose to present the Four-Day Seminars in the landscape (wide page) format. Dr. Deming reviewed, corrected, and added to this manuscript. He liked the landscape format and hoped that it would appeal to the reader as well. Managing to achieve quality, by its very nature, requires the ability to see relationships. We have attempted to cross-reference the relationship between ideas whenever possible.

This book is the compilation of many of Dr. Deming's lectures. In attending many of these lectures, we observed his never-ending improvement - he constantly clarified his message and its delivery.

Dr. Deming's message to management is simple: The prevailing system of management is ruining us. The prevailing system focuses on short-term thinking, ranking, merit systems, management by results, quotas, and MBO's. The authors hope that by bringing Dr. Deming's message in this visual format we will help managers gain a better understanding of their jobs.

Every system, such as this book, must have an aim. Our aim is to present the Deming Seminar in a simple, enjoyable way that will give the reader understanding and desire to continue studying Dr. Deming's philosophy.

William J. Latzko
David M. Saunders

9 June 1994



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