Can IT Management failure be caused by a deadly disease? Part I

“Does experience help? NO! Not if we are doing the wrong things.”- Dr W Edward Deming.

There is always someone in your life that becomes truly inspirational. Sometimes that inspirational figure towers over others not only for their accomplishments but for their belief in their transformational capabilities without the  desire for masses of financial reward. Statistician and management guru, Dr Deming was such a thought leader. Dr Deming is considered the father of Total quality Management (TQM). He revolutionised Japanese manufacturing as he couldn’t find an audience in the US after WW II, because managers at the time thought that poor quality was caused by people who just didn’t want to do a good job.  They didn’t think there was much managers could do to improve quality except exhort employees to do a better job.

Deming’s basic message was that quality is a management responsibility, and poor quality was almost always the result of systems imposed on workers which thwarted people’s desire to do high quality work. He taught the Japanese managers how to empower production workers to investigate problems and systematically improve processes.  He taught that teamwork and long term, trust-based relationships with suppliers were far better than adversarial relationships.  He emphasised a culture of continuous improvement of both processes and products. Deming’s teachings combined with Just-in-time methods and Kanban elevated the Japanese to the pinnacle of manufacturing as we know it today.

Well, why is this all important? Simply because Deming’s teachings, today, are utilised within computer systems as well.

“A system is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. A system must have an aim. Without the aim, there is no system.” Dr W Edward Deming

Now that we all understand who Dr Deming was and his contribution to our everyday lives, especially driving reliable cars! Its a bit too late now and I can’t write anymore but later in the week, I will spell out Dr Deming’s theories and attempt to provide an answer to the question, “Can IT Management failure be caused by a deadly disease?”


About mubbisherahmed
I am passionate about IT and its ability to deliver cost effective, value for money solutions that can enhance performance and in many cases provide competitive advantage by using a range of solutions and approaches in innovative ways.

4 Responses to Can IT Management failure be caused by a deadly disease? Part I

  1. Thomas Keplar says:

    Dr Deming’s advise in many areas of quality is very sound.

    One area where the whole TQM revolution was wrong is in the area of
    the human condition and human nature.

    Deming was not able to provide much insight on this area.

    He stated clearly that in the area of health care TQM had a ways to go
    to find the appropriate cost and service structures.

    Lot of good idea’s in TQ, also a lot of areas that still must be understood that
    TQ will not provide answers other than as Ishakawa said “unless you have senior
    management buy in, do not implement tq”

    Thomas Keplar

  2. Blue Chip says:

    All the major business process outsourcers use off shore IT help desks. These guys are pitching this stuff to the public and private sector. ITIL is the methodology of choice for supporting IT. I think it’s pretty good when you read about it on paper. On paper if you are having problems with your PC you phone up, someone takes your details and then magically someone appears to fix your problem so you can get on with your life. Systems thinking is the answer but like all things to good to be true and all that…

  3. Thomas Keplar says:

    Character, Values, education & training, experience are critical. Most of the major corporations are run like money machines so when they complain about some incident you can nearly always trace it back to some form of substandard practice or a lack of leadership. All human behaviour is purposeful, everything in life is a probability until there is a result, feedback is provided each and every time. Human beings are responsible. Nothing happens without human action and interaction. systems thinking will only work so far until that last bit of doing something then you better have a switched on competent human being with the right character and values. deal with it and accept the consequences. period.

    Thomas Keplar

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