Monday, November 27, 2017

One for Ed Deming – Learn the Profound System of Knowledge!

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Tip of the hat & a deep bow to Ed Deming, the great American quality guru, who coined the above term, and gave us so much more.

Nowadays, some call it Toyota Production System, others ‘Lean’, yet others ‘Lean Six Sigma’.

But I have a soft spot for Deming and for ‘profound system of knowledge’, a rich phrase which harkens back centuries. As far back as Aristotle and the Athenian Agora, some say.

There is very little new under the sun. We are trying to apply the Scientific Method to the chaotic world of work, are we not? (Who knows what we’ll call it in a few decades?)

The Profound System of Knowledge has four cornerstones, Deming taught. Here they are along with what each means to yours truly:

1. Theory of Systems
  • What’s a system?
  • How do systems behave? What laws govern their behavior?
  • How do we create order out of chaos?
  • What is systems thinking? How do we apply it to get better outcomes?

2. Theory of Human Psychology
  • Why do people behave as they do?
  • What is the nature of human relationships?
  • How do we develop our team members?
  • How do we build trust?
  • How do we motivate our team members?

3. Laws of Variation
  • What are the causes of variability of work, in planning and problem solving?
  • What are the laws of variation?

4. Theory of Knowledge
  • How do we learn?
  • Different learning styles
  • How do we create a learning environment?

And everything is connected to everything else. Creating order in chaotic systems, for example, requires a deep understanding of why people behave as they do, how people learn, and of the laws of varation.

Good stuff, no? And worthy of a lifetime’s study and practice.

Thanks, Ed, again and forever. Trust the martinis are good in the Heavenly Bar, and the company diverting.

Best regards,


1 comment:

  1. Deming's 14 Points is a total quality management (TQM) concept.