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Tuesday, 21 August 2007 15:49

Point 13 - Deming in Project Management

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Training Not Related to Job/Task

In order for continuous improvement to become organizational culture, it must also become a personal goal for every employee. Self-improvement should not be limited to immediate application, that would be an example of short-term thinking. Employees are the most important assets of an organization, and therefore require effort to retain and enhance them.


On project teams, the most important assets are the individual contributors that make the project happen. I believe in making all relevant project documentation available to the whole team, including planning exercises and other resources. Explaining your approach as a project manager is key to helping everyone understand the method to your madness, and by example you can help develop organizational and project skills in them. Anyone can become much more productive when they learn and apply many of the concepts in project management. Other skills will come through such as time management, documentation/configuration management, leadership, communication, planning techniques, estimating, and scheduling/work flow management.

If you are a project manager of a permanent group of project team members, you have an even better opportunity to help them grow personally and professionally. On a permanent team, you may even have the power to set aside training time for everyone where they can plan to educate themselves on any topic they wish. This reminds me of Google’s policy of setting aside time for developers to work on their own personal projects without any interference or direction given from management.

Deming's 14 Points
  1. Commitment from the Top to Continuous Improvement as a Way of Life
  2. Adopt a Philosophy of Cooperation Where Everyone Wins and Teach it to Everyone
  3. Inspection is a Tool for Improvement, Not a Whip
  4. Consider Costs and Benefits of the Entire System and Deliverable Lifetime
  5. Continuous Improvement
  6. Job/Task-Related Training
  7. Teach and Institute Leadership
  8. Drive Out Fear and Create Trust
  9. Break Down Departmental Barriers in Pursuit of a Common Goal
  10. No Slogans or Disingenuous Pep Talks
  11. Attribute Results to Processes
  12. Enable Pride of Workmanship
  13. Training Not Related to Job/Task
  14. Total Participation Starting From the Top

References and Resources

Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence
Deming and Goldratt
Out of the Crisis
The Deming Management Method
The New Economics
Four Days with Dr. Deming
Deming Route to Quality and Productivity
Deming The Way We Knew Him

Josh Nankivel is the Vice Chair of Special Projects for the Students of Project Management SIG of PMI, and a project management student/enthusiast. His website is

Read 7514 times Last modified on Sunday, 13 December 2009 19:24
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