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Deming’s Principles, Lean Thinking and Cultural Change

1788 words (7 pages) Essay in Organisations

08/02/20 Organisations Reference this

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This report is based on the poster presentation on William Edward Deming’s 14 philosophies and his contribution to the lean practices. It also describes the lean thinking that helps to change the culture of the organisation. Furthermore, for the changes in the organisation this report also focuses on the concept of the organisational readiness for the lean thinking and culture change.


Dr. William Edwards Deming was born in 14 October 1900. He was the American Engineer, Author, Professor and management consultant. Deming has described 14 Principles for Management for the improvement of the organisation. These 14 principles of Deming’s are first present in his famous book “Out of the Crisis”. The 14 principles can apply anywhere or any kind of business whether it is small organisations or large ones, from the service industry to manufacturing. The 14 principles are described below:

  1. Create Constancy of purpose: It focus on that every organisation has to inspire its employees to stay in the competitive environment in the market and also remind the about the new jobs and the opportunities. It also provides the sense of purpose in producing the better-quality products. Its main purpose is to describe the way to do better things.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy: According to the Deming the competition in the market is changing in very rapidly and the demand of the customer also changes. So, the organisations must adopt the new philosophies according to the trends and technology.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve the quality: Deming’s says that it is too late to inspect the quality of the product when it leaves the door. So, for him organisations have to do inspection about the quality in each step of process rather than at the end. Because quality did not come from inspection it came from the production process.
  4. Minimise total cost: Demin’s one of the philosophies says the organisations has to look at suppliers as their partners in quality. They have to encourage the suppliers for improving the quality of the product and build the trustworthy and reliable relationship with the.
  5. Improve Constantly: According to Deming’s principle, whatever the quality level that every organisation has reached today, it must be on the basis for the improvement in future. Every organisation has to continuously improve its services and production process to catch up with the competitive market.
  6. Institute training on the job:  Deming says if we provide training to the employees, they will be more productive end efficient compare to untrained worker. Training drastically improves the quality of the person that leads to the better-quality product performance. Encourage and involve the employees in the process and give them the opportunity to understand their roles.
  7. Institute Leadership: Leadership is important aspect of every organisation but Deming says organisations has to provide the support and resources to the each member of the process so that they can give their best in the result and add value to the customer.
  8. Drive out fear: Deming’s 8th principles states that drive out fear from the employees. Because that fear does not give the quality and productivity to work. Make sue the every worker should feel comfortable and valued by ensuring that they are open to give the ideas and share their views. Engage them in the activities and process.
  9. Break down barriers between staff: As an organisation it is their responsibility to improve the relationships among the workers and make them feel as part of the family. Tell them that they are working on to achieve the goal which is quality not competing between other workers.
  10. Eliminate Slogans: For Deming it is better to eliminate slogans that call for more quantity rather than focusing on quality. Organisation should tell their employees what they want from them rather than making guess and replace this with effective leadership.
  11. Eliminate work standards and numerical Quotas: Eliminate instructions that require achieving specific results. Organisations should understand that quality has long-term value more than expectations of numbers. They should look at the process carried out rather than numerical targets.
  12. Pride of workmanship: Deming says that eliminate everything that steal the pride of workmanship. For an example we can say that evaluation system, negative evaluation destroys the desire of the worker. Every worker should be treated in a fair way.
  13. Institute program of education and self-improvement: Every employees must be up to date with the information and technology that goes with their job. Because in this competitive environment technology and trends are changes very rapidly. Organise the training sessions for the new employees and increase their knowledge.
  14. The transformation is everybody’s job:  Engage each member of the organisation from top to bottom to improve the overall quality of the company. Because a single person can not make the change it is the job of everyone. (Mulder, 2017)

Deming’s principle and Lean thinking

Lean thinking is the methodology and process which aims is to think lean about to change in the business decisions in the new way and also organise the human activities that deliver the value to the customer while eliminating waste (LeanThinking, 2018). It is basically originated from the Japanese Toyota Production System and it still used to guide modern process of the manufacturing.

According to the blog written by John Hunter in 2013, he says Deming’s and Lean has so much common. (Hunter, 2013) Toyota production system is based on the Deming’s ideas. It is the Deming’s great contribution in lean thinking. The Chairman of Toyota Shoichiro Toyoda says that Deming’s means a lot to them for his contribution to their manufacturing process. They also have some weaknesses, but they are reason for bad implementation of practices rather than lean thinking and Deming’s principles.

Deming also contribute in the continuous improvement tool of lean thinking by providing the diagram of PDCA and improve the productivity beyond expectation. Continuous improvement is important otherwise we would still live in stone age. Lean management took the idea of improvement from Deming and adopt this in every step of production process. According to Deming we never reach perfection because every time we found a new idea from improvement. This PDCA is interactive process that is repeated indefinitely. This cycle involves for stages. On first stage of planning we have to plan ahead, observe and analyse the current situation and plan accordingly. Second stage is Do where we have to take the small steps in executing the plan because we can not simply jump to the next process without executing. Third stage is to study the results, measure and compare the data and information which is relevant in the process and the final stage leads to the Act where actions are needed to improve the process (Bahri, 2018).

Lean Thinking for Cultural change

There are three steps involved for Lean Culture Change:

  1. Leadership Involvement: In other words, say Commitment, Leadership involvement and engagement is the important part for culture change.  Leaders set vision, tone, transparency in the company. For better understanding of commitment and involvement here is an example, there is a short story where a hen and pig were taking one day. Hen says she feels very glad that she and pig helps the farmer in supplying breakfast every day. But the pig is less enthusiastic and reply to the hen that it is easy for her because you are just involved but for me is totally committed in the process. So, leaders have to involve the people for commitment.
  2. Education: It is the responsibility of the leader to educate his employees about the reason of “WHY” behind the change. Because if the employees don’t have the education about whether the change is necessary or not is just wastage of time. Simon Sinek also discuss about the WHY in his TED TALK show. Ask the team members for their thoughts and ideas for new concept. Sometimes people resist change so start with why than move to other steps.
  3. Cultural Dynamics: Cultural Dynamics include the morale, employee’s perception, acceptance level of change, maturity level. If organisation wants to change, they must know from where to begin in the education process. If there is any barrier than try to solve them other than ready for the consequences. (Urban, 2014)


Organizational readiness for Lean Thinking and cultural change

Organisational readiness refers to the readiness of the member of the organisation and shared resolve to implement change also shared the belief to do so. (Gardner, 2001). There are different factors involved in the organisational readiness such as resources (in term of capital, human and technical), Organisation climate, motivational readiness, benefits of change, organisational control factor like policies, communication procedures, accountability and the fall back.

Organisations must encourage investment in training employees for the change. They should tell them the outcomes of the change. Because change is the game of mind-set. If we need the results we must act differently, to act differently we have to see the things in different way and that different way is lean thinking that helps the employees for continuous improvement and culture change. For the resistance of the change organisation has to educate their people.


In the conclusion this report critically examines the 14 philosophies of Edward Deming and describe its contribution to lean thinking and cultural change and make the organisations  ready for the change.


  • Bahri, S. (2018). Deming’sDiagram. Retrieved from dentalgrouppractice:
  • Gardner, D. G. (2001, 11 01). Operational readiness. Retrieved from pmi:
  • Hunter, J. (2013, 07 08). Deming and Lean. Retrieved from deming:
  • LeanThinking. (2018). Retrieved from leankit:
  • Mulder, P. (2017). Deming’s14pointsforManagement. Retrieved from toolshero:
  • Urban, E. (2014, 06 03). Three Steps Towards lean culture change . Retrieved from lean:
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