Week 1 Discussion - 14 Points

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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
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#2
Potential Discussion Questions

1. Why do you suppose the textbook chose to water down the 14 Points as much as they did?

2. What are your feelings on the two more controversial points:

10 - Eliminate numerical targets

12 - Eliminate annual appraisals

3. Thinking ahead to your paper - where would be good places to apply the 14 Points and how?

4. Are there any places that you believe the 14 Points would do more harm than good?

5. How do the 14 Points fit together as a System?
 

Caster

An Early Cover
#3
I'd like to see that

Steve Prevette said:
What are your feelings on the two more controversial points:

10 - Eliminate numerical targets
12 - Eliminate annual appraisals
Steve,

These are my favorite "points"

I would be very interested in a summary of your students anwers to this question.

Is there any way this could be shared on the Cove?

I would offer to attempt to summarize the responses if it would help.

Caster
 
J

Jamie Morris

#5
Jamie Morris - A Brief Discussion of Deming's Point 12

Steve and MC 550 Classmates,

As you may already know from class discussions, I have a very strong opinion about Point 12 from Deming's 14 points. Point 12 (the unfiltered version) states: "Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective". I strongly agree that a performance appraisal system that is linked to merit/salary increases robs people of their right to pride of workmanship.

Based on my personal experience, I will explain why I have such energy on this point. I have worked at two Department of Energy sites for four different companies over my twenty-four year career. All of these companies had annual performance appraisal systems that were very similar. The annual performance appraisal was always linked to the annual merit increase or salary increase. In addition, each system provided for a numerical rating, usually a scale of 1 to 5. A rating of 3 is the mean or average. A rating of 1 means that the employee can "walk on water" and "raise the dead". A rating of 5 means that the employee is one step from losing their job.

The problem with these systems (notice that I purposely used the word mean above) is that management believes that employees fit on a "Bell" curve or normal distribution in regards to performance. Adding to this problem is the fact that each manager receives a "pool of money" for their annual merit increases, so they can only give a certain percentage to each employee. This further exacerbates the drive to force personnel into a distribution curve. Additionally, senior management usually provides direction regarding the distribution. The direction to management is that you can only have a few employees that receive "1's", a few employees that receive "2's", and you must have few employees in the 4 and 5 category. This translates to most employees receiving a rating of 3 or average.

So what does this do to the employees and organization? This type of system not only robs people of their pride in workmanship, it robs them of their motivation, morale, creativity, and most importantly their hope for success. The reason this occurs is that employees begin to feel that they will only receive an average rating, regardless of their performance during the year. Additionally, managers begin to detest the system because they cannot provide employees with a true measure of their performance. From an organizational standpoint this process leads to complete distrust and disenfranchisement from the bottom to the top levels of the organization.

In conclusion, managers must strive to abolish these systems, if they hope achieve a high performing organization.


Steve Prevette said:
1. Why do you suppose the textbook chose to water down the 14 Points as much as they did?

2. What are your feelings on the two more controversial points:

10 - Eliminate numerical targets

12 - Eliminate annual appraisals

3. Thinking ahead to your paper - where would be good places to apply the 14 Points and how?

4. Are there any places that you believe the 14 Points would do more harm than good?

5. How do the 14 Points fit together as a System?
 
R

Roberta

#6
1. Why do you suppose the textbook chose to water down the 14 Points as much as they did?
I think the authors of the text felt they needed to address these points, but do not completely support them, so they were minimizing the inclusion of them into the text.

2. What are your feelings on the two more controversial points:
10 - Eliminate numerical targets --I think there is validity in this point as applied to many industries. In my particular company, which is a research lab, it is difficult to put a number on how many developments can be achieved in a period of time.
12 - Eliminate annual appraisals --I think it would be detrimental to forgo all annual appraisals because there is value that comes with someone being straightforward with you regarding your progress, strengths and weaknesses. However, I agree that ranking should be eliminated.

3. Thinking ahead to your paper - where would be good places to apply the 14 Points and how?
The 14 Points seem to apply best in the production industry in which processes and positions are usually very regimented and defined.

4. Are there any places that you believe the 14 Points would do more harm than good?
I think the 14 Points could be harmful in a company if reality is not acknowledged and the points tweaked to meet that reality. For example, in a highly multi-cultural environment people have different experiences and work practices. Their beliefs of how a team should work together can be much different, depending on how they interact and if they do or do not normally behave in an heirarchical sense.

5. How do the 14 Points fit together as a System?
There is much validity to the Points and they do work as a system in the ideal environment, promoting leadership, teamwork, and pride of work. However, the Points are a little utopist that they promote a psychology that everyone is equal no matter their experience and productivity; if there is inequality, the Points seem to say that can be resolved by training and education.
 
S

ssagreen

#7
My thoughts on annual appraisals

From being a person who did not get an appraisal one year (I dont think they realized I existed that year) to one who "walks on water" as Jamie puts it I have experienced the ranking and annual appraisals. I do not think that the ranking and annual appraisals should be eliminated. I believe they are a tool that a company can use to motivate, teach, and let the company and you as the individual know how you are performing relative to what is expected of you. The appraisals system is not inherintly evil as some people seem to portray it as. If the appraisal system is built and administered carefully and in a plain and fair manner then I believe it can be benefitial to a company and its employees.

If a manager is using the appraisal process as a means of motivating his/her employees in a positive manner then it will bring out the best in the company's employees. The problem is that managers do not typically make the effort or take the time to do this. I think a manager should sit down with an employee a clearly lay out written expectations and how they can meet the expectations. The manager should bring the employee back every couple of months and discuss how they are doing and what can be improved (immediate feedback). This coaching process will help make your employees understand what is wanted and help them achieve. With a bunch of motivated successfull employees the company is bound to find success. Then the company should be willing to give out more than a few "walk on waters" because the employees and company are both successful.
 
R

Roberta

#8
ssagreen said:
With a bunch of motivated successfull employees the company is bound to find success. Then the company should be willing to give out more than a few "walk on waters" because the employees and company are both successful.
My company is trying to change its appraisal process to have fewer "Exceeds Expectation" ratings, which is the highest you can acheive. Those are now reserved for anyone that has had an extraordinarily remarkable year and brought business into the lab. I had always received an "Exceeds Expectations" each of the six or seven years I have been through the appraisal process, and this year only received a "Meets Plus" (the next level down) due to this new way of thinking. Support staff that are not out meeting with the customers now feel they do not have opportunities to receive the highest ranking. We have generally always had a high morale around the office, but this change in ranking practice did put a little ding in it this year. Maybe the company thinks they were being too generous in the past, but now staff are losing some degree of motivation and the appraisal process may be working against us.
 
M

Mary Davenport

#9
Jamie,
I agree with your assessment of the annual appraisal situation. I live under the same system and know that you are correct. It is not possible in this system to have pride of workmanship when you can rarely be anything more than average.
 
M

Mary Davenport

#10
In a perfect world Dr. Deming's system would help business to provide a quality product that was produced by a satisfied workforce, supervised by caring/nurturing managers who creatively kept their employees motivated and working toward a goal of continual improvement. To be successful in application of Deming's methodologies though, a company must abide completely by point 2 (adopt the new philosophy) and totally eliminate personal agendas, biases, and cultural considerations. This may be difficult to achieve in companies where the power structure and management styles have remained constant over long periods of time.
 
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