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Quality Case Analysis for MC550

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Roberta

#1
This is a quality case analysis that was submitted in Steve Prevette's MC550 class. It was our first assignment this quarter, with the purpose of applying Deming's 14 Points to analyze a company. My group consisted of myself and 3 other contributors.
 

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Craig H.

#2
Roberta:

Excellent analysis. I especially liked the fact that you chose a farming operation, which is most certainly not the first type of business one thinks of when discussing Deming.

Thanks for sharing.
 
I

IEGeek - 2006

#3
Very well written on a topic and industry not likely to be classified as "Deming" material.

Good job! :applause:
 
#4
I, on the other hand, as a confirmed Demingite, feel EVERY operation could benefit from incorporating the 14 points. I thought the choice of case study demonstrated that concept well. The conclusions were logical and well presented.

:topic: As a graduate level paper, this document needs some proofreading for grammar. I would not make this comment except I expect more rigor in an academic paper.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Wes Bucey said:
:topic: As a graduate level paper, this document needs some proofreading for grammar. I would not make this comment except I expect more rigor in an academic paper.
Remember, their instructor are an engineer . . .
 
S

Spence B

#7
What about PDCA?

It is interesting to see “City University” students attacking a farm management scenario. Armed with Deming’s points, these students’ present good suggestions, but I would expect better results with more emphasis on the main issue, “turf disputes” in upper management. Instead of “pep talks” (see Deming point #10 about exhortation) the first priority should be real, focused problem-solving sessions involving all of those hard-shelled turf guardians. The CEO (who should also be trained in Quality) should be leading this.
Consider the Japanese (who showed the real value of Deming’s points). They will scrutinize detailed data, use the established tools to identify and attack the real problems, plan and implement improvements, monitor results, and perhaps most important, ‘institutionalize’ the improvements. In the U.S. we also should promote discipline to prevent backsliding.
In 30 years of industry experience, I have seen a lot of “pep talks” and newsletters, but none had the value of honest, data-supported, sweaty, dirty, Plan-Do-Check-Act. (Perhaps I missed that in this analysis?)
 
#8
Spence B said:
It is interesting to see “City University” students attacking a farm management scenario. Armed with Deming’s points, these students’ present good suggestions, but I would expect better results with more emphasis on the main issue, “turf disputes” in upper management. Instead of “pep talks” (see Deming point #10 about exhortation) the first priority should be real, focused problem-solving sessions involving all of those hard-shelled turf guardians. The CEO (who should also be trained in Quality) should be leading this.
Consider the Japanese (who showed the real value of Deming’s points). They will scrutinize detailed data, use the established tools to identify and attack the real problems, plan and implement improvements, monitor results, and perhaps most important, ‘institutionalize’ the improvements. In the U.S. we also should promote discipline to prevent backsliding.
In 30 years of industry experience, I have seen a lot of “pep talks” and newsletters, but none had the value of honest, data-supported, sweaty, dirty, Plan-Do-Check-Act. (Perhaps I missed that in this analysis?)
Lately, there has been a flurry of posts in the ASQ "Ask a Quality Professional" Forum (http://www.asq.org/discussionBoards/forum.jspa?forumID=18) open to the public, wherein one of the senior ASQ members in Japan, Akio Miura, has been lambasting the widely-held belief that Japanese manufacturers are showing the "real value of Deming’s points."

Re: PDCA
In fact, many contend Deming used another phrase
Steve Prevette said:
By the way, Deming preferred the use of PDSA, Study instead of Check. Check seemed to be very judgmental, and many people misuse it as "check against the numerical goal".
These were Steve's students, not mine. I thought that, for "beginners," they did extremely well with some interesting problems. As a Socratic teacher myself, I value the idea of helping students learn the process of thinking, rather than requiring them to achieve the same answer I might have reached. Think of a Design of Experiments situation. We ask the designer to come up with a list of experiments. We don't know the correct experiment (the one resulting in the most favorable outcome) until we actually run it. Thus it is in a class project such as the corporate farm.

I'd value your comments to continue the discourse.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#9
Wes Bucey said:
Think of a Design of Experiments situation. We ask the designer to come up with a list of experiments. We don't know the correct experiment (the one resulting in the most favorable outcome) until we actually run it.
The purpose of any scientifically designed experiment should be to attempt to disprove a hypothesis. I've never seen a situation where anyone was asked to "come up with a list of experiments." I think you're confusing "test" with "experiment." A single experiment may include more than one test. Whether more than one experiment is necessary is wholly dependent upon the design and outcome of the initial experiment. An experiment is incorrect only if it's poorly designed, and an unbiased experimenter isn't looking for a "favorable" outcome. The outcome is what it is, and it either serves to support the hypothesis (by not disproving it) or it doesn't.
 
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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
A few things to realize on this paper - 1st we are dealing with students working on an MBA, not experienced practitioners of the Deming methodology. Yes, there is some "soft" recommendations in there. 2nd - one of the students is an employee of the company in question. They were considerably concerned that we manage to protect his/her anonymity and the anonymity of the employer.
 
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