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W. Edwards Deming: 14 Steps to Systematic Change

An overview of the Deming's 14 Points for Change as outlined in the rebuilding of post-WWII Japan as applicable today to education reform
by

Kellee Hill

on 24 July 2010

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Transcript of W. Edwards Deming: 14 Steps to Systematic Change

W. Edwards Deming father of the Japanese post-war industrial revival leading quality guru in the United States 1900 - 1993 business philosophy is summarized in his famous "14 Points," 1.Constancy of purpose
2.The new philosophy
3.Cease dependence on mass inspection
4.End lowest tender contracts
5.Improve every process
6.Institute training on the job
7.Institute leadership
8.Drive out fear
9.Break down barriers
10.Eliminate exhortations
11.Eliminate arbitrary numerical targets
12. Permit pride of workmanship
13. Encourage education
14. Top management commitment and action Can this work for education systems?? Education has not defined clear purpose Presently schools are committed to the latest set of state and federal mandates, but not to continuous improvement Education philosophy, amounts to a set of strategies to deal with the latest state and federal mandates until leadership changes & a new set of mandates is imposed new philosophy needed by educators is the same as for leadership; commitment to continuous improvement 1. Constancy of Purpose 2. The new philosophy 3. Cease dependence on mass inspection Accountability for improvement is mandated in two forms: state and/or standardized tests to improve student achievement; Teacher evaluation to improve instruction. Neither has resulted in significant improvement in student achievement. Those people we view as excellent are committed to their own improvement and the means is their own self-assessment. Those who excel at nothing assess everyone else but themselves.

Not only do schools have to commit to continuous self-assessment, but state and federal agencies as well. These agencies constantly evaluate others. They never evaluate themselves. It does not occur to them to evaluate their own work, their own leadership. 4. End lowest tender contract Hiring practices frequently stress hiring people for the lowest possible salary. Hire the best people 5. Improve every process Efforts must shift focus from improving the students or improving the teachers to improving the system identify the systemic policies, practices, belief systems, etc. that are dysfunctional and change them 6. Institute training on the job Most staff development done in education has had little or no lasting positive impact on the system Three necessary steps must occur for staff development to effectively change the system:Staff to be trained must see the need for training. This is usually best accomplished by effective use of data (Kelly, 1991).Staff to be trained must be given opportunity to be involved in selecting/designing the training.All staff involved in the change should be trained with the appropriate administrators. (For more specifics on this see Kelly, 1995) 7. Institute Leadership Traditional Bureaucratic leadership with its authority driven processes is passé. Authority may bring a degree of compliance. Only commitment can bring excellence. Successful organizations will be driven by the commitment of their staffs to ongoing self-assessment and self-improvement of themselves individually and their organizations collectively 8. Drive out fear When people are afraid, they are motivated to defensiveness, to avoid, resent, sabotage, deny responsibility, become cynical etc. They strive to avoid punishment and do only that which they believe will not bring them harm. This explains why things like twenty years of threats about accountability such as publishing state test scores for schools annually in newspapers has had no positive effect A chosen commitment driven by trust, not coercion, will remove fear 9. Break down barriers between departments Competition among administrators is common and counterproductive.
Teacher isolation breeds fear.
Find ways to network the sharing of the many successful practices in a NON-bureaucratic way. Both administrators and teachers know what works and should be able to share. 10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets. The mandates require all students to reach certain levels at the same time. “By eight grade all students will...” The truth of course is they will not. With all our lip service to diversity we deny the most important diversity of all: Each child is unique! Deming’s quality concept provides a functional process: to strive for continuous improvement. Wherever my school is, the goal is to improve it. How much? As much as we can. How long? Forever! 11. Eliminate work standards, eliminate management by objectives For at least the forty years standardized tests have been used as a measure Once again Deming is correct; there is no real evidence of significant resultant improvement. Ongoing self-assessment and self-improvement measured to ensure results, will accelerate student achievement now so sought after and bafflingly elusive as the school learns and adopts Deming’s methods. The sky is the limit. 12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship The present reform movement stresses criticism. For excellence in any organization those who work in it must feel genuine accomplishment. This is facilitated by self-evaluation of successful work. A teacher’s job is to empower people to learn. A leader’s job is to empower teachers to teach. 13. Institute a vigorous program of education Too much staff development is "flavor of the week" and is based neither on clear vision nor rigorous data The leader must be proactive in terms of both advocating and modeling the desired behaviors.
A clearly defined, simple planning process must be established to enable broad participation 14. Top management commitment to action The bureaucratic model of the Boss deciding on what and how everyone else must change

Many good ideas fail because we neglect most in the process or simply attempt to impose change on them Through a leadership model that strives for participation of all to reach consensus, it's feasible to focus collective energy, intellect, and experience, on priorities for improvement which reflect the prioritized needs of all. Then all will willingly participate in the change process Bibliography Kelly, T. F., Ph. D. (2005, June 13). Using Deming’s Organizational Principles
to Assess and Guide Education Reform Policy. Abstract retrieved from
Florida Atlantic University website: www.coe.fau.edu/conferences/papers/
Kelly.doc

Who is Dr. W. Edwards Deming? (2005, May). Leadership Institute, Inc. Retrieved
July 23, 2010, from http://www.lii.net/deming.html
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