Deming - W. Edwards Deming the guru of quality management...

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W. Edwards Deming the guru of quality management W. Edwards Deming, the modest but outspoken man who died of cancer on December 20, 1993, was one of the world's best-known advocates for quality. He bestrode the management consulting world with a deep conviction that the solutions to our problems would be simple if we would only turn from the comfortable but ineffective attitudes of the past and embrace the concept of minimization of variation along with all its very unfamiliar ramifications. The power of Deming's philosophy lies in his emphasis on how to do this, using statistical methods. His greatest influence over the world at large came later in his life, when he branched out from statistics proper to put his energies into the use of statistical methods for the benefit of humankind. Deming's formal education included an engineering degree from the University of Wyoming, a master's degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in mathematical physics from Yale University in 1928. On receiving his PhD, was offered a job at the Western Electric Company, where he had worked summers, but chose instead to enter government service in the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There, the study of the physical properties of materials led him into statistics via the theories of measurement errors and least squares that he encountered in this work. In 1939, Deming moved to the Bureau of the Census as head mathematician and adviser on sampling. From 1928 to 1942, he taught statistics courses at the USDA Graduate School. With the outbreak of World War II, he also taught statistics courses at Stanford in support of the War effort. Later in life, he would be discouraged by his experience with those courses: The engineers and
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statisticians who were trained there did very well, but he did not feel that the managers, who attended only half-day familiarization sessions in statistical techniques, learned enough to see the benefits of their efforts of their engineers and technical personnel. The good work of the technical personnel then gradually died away for lack of support. Deming was introduced to Walter Shewhart of the Bell Telephone Laboratories by Kunsman, who was vice- president of the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory. Shewhart was a critical influence on Deming during this period, in which Deming began to move in the direction of the application of statistical
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2010 for the course GSC 3600 taught by Professor Verma during the Winter '10 term at Wayne State University.

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Deming - W. Edwards Deming the guru of quality management...

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