COMMON AND SPECIAL VARIATION
Ø 1) Look at the phrases taken from the article: a process varies, common variation, special variation, a change in the system, accountable for, to penalize, beyond one’s control, to differentiate, crucial, inherent. What do they mean?
Ø 2) Read the text and answer the questions:
1)What is the difference between common and special variations?
2)The common variation in a system is inherent in it, isn’t it?
3)What can the common variation be caused by?
4)What could special variation be caused by?
5)What can lead to the total achievement of quality?
6)Who and what must be involved in the process of achieving quality?
A process in a firm is like any other type of process – it varies. Consider a natural process or system such as your own appetite. Some days you are hungrier than you typically are, and some days you eat less than you usually do, and perhaps at different times. Your system varies from day to day, to some degree. This is common variation. However, if you go on a diet or become ill, you might drastically alter your eating habits for a time. This would be a special variation because it would have been caused by a change in the system. If you hadn’t gone on a diet or become ill, your system would have continued on its former path of common variation.
Understanding the difference between common and special variation in a system is a critical element in the Deming philosophy. Management must realize that unless a change is made in the system (which only management can make), the system’s process capability will remain the same. This capability will include the common variation that is inherent in any system. Workers should not be held accountable for or be penalized for common variation; it is beyond their control. Common variation could be caused by such things as poor lighting, lack of ongoing training, or poor product design. Special variation could be caused by new materials, a broken die, or a new operator. Workers can become involved in creating and utilizing statistical methods so that common and special variations can be differentiated and process improvements can be implemented. Since variation produces more defective and less uniform products, it is crucial that managers understand how to reduce and control variation. Understanding and controlling variation can lead to the total achievement of quality.
Managers must understand that there is no easy way to change the current situation. There can be no quick results because what is needed is a continuing cycle of improved methods of manufacturing, testing, consumer research, product redesign, etc. This view extends to include the company’s vendors, customers, and investors. All must play a role in the continuing improvement of quality.
Ø 3) Say whether you agree or disagree with these statements:
a)only management can make a change in a system,
b)the common variation is inherent in any system,
c)workers (employees) should not be penalized for common variation,
d)common variation is beyond the workers’ control,
e)workers (employees) can be involved in the process of improvements,
f)achievement of improvement of quality requires improved methods of manufacturing, testing, consumer research, product redesign, etc.
4.16.8 MANAGEMENT’S AND WORKER’S RESPONSIBILITIES
Ø 1) Before reading the text, answer the following questions:
a)What are the responsibilities of management?
b)What are the responsibilities of workers (employees)?
Ø 2) Read the text and fill in the gaps in the table:
Managers have a monumental task before them. They must take responsibility for the process and must constantly seek to improve it. They have to stop blaming each other, the workers in the system, the suppliers, and the customers.
Dr. Deming’s philosophy necessitates a fundamental change in how organizations are viewed by the people who manage them and by those who work in them. This change will be a lot more palatable for the workers because, generally, workers are aware of many of the organization’s problems and know that they are not the cause of the problems. Managers, on the other hand, must own up to their responsibility and must realize that the systems that they created perpetuate cause approximately 85 percent of the problems. NOTHING can be done about these problems unless there is a change in the system. However, workers have a responsibility in the process, aside from performing their jobs. Their responsibility is to communicate to management the information they have regarding the system. Under the Deming philosophy this is possible because workers and management learn to speak the same language, the language of statistics and process control.
A true cooperation spirit flourishes in this type of environment. Team work is a prerequisite for the firm to function and to constantly improve the process. The corporate culture changes so that the workers are no longer afraid to point out problems in the system. Management is actively involved in the never-ending improvement of the process with the workers, and workers are afforded secure and economically rewarding jobs for their efforts. Management creates the atmosphere that encourages pride of workmanship and a belief in the process of never-ending improvement. This will eventually lead to higher quality, reduced costs, and greater profitability. However, those goals can only be reached by a slow, steady, real change in the organizational environment.
Management must make a total commitment to the change and must be willing to endure and deal with the workers’ skepticism and doubts, as well as their own. These doubts have been built up over several years, in some cases lifetimes, and are not easily dispelled. Total commitment and real change, over a period of time, will be evident to the employees, and they will start to trust the new atmosphere. Management will be tested many times. If the testing is handled properly, both management and workers will emerge with a strengthened commitment and a renewed sense of purpose.
Ø 3) Answer the questions:
a)Why is it possible that workers will communicate the information about the system to management?
b)How soon will the goal to quality achievement be reached?
c)Under what circumstances will management and workers be one team with a strengthened commitment to the quality reaching goal?
THE FOURTEEN POINTS
Ø 1) Read the text and answer the questions:
a)What is important to the successful implementation of Dr. Deming’s philosophy?
b)What is the value of the “14 points”?
c)What will the acceptance and understanding of the “14 points” lead to?
d)Can the “14 points”, taken separately, create improvement?
e)What use of the “14 points” will transform the organization?
f)Are any of the “14 points” practiced in your organization?
Dr. Deming’s methods incorporate the use of statistical tools and a monumental change in the corporate culture. Both are important to the successful implementation of his philosophy. Dr. Deming has outlined his methods for achieving quality and productivity in his “14 points for management.” The “14 points” together provide a framework for action and give management the basis on which to formulate a plan in the absence of experience with a particular issue.
The acceptance and understanding of the “14 points” will lead to a commitment by management to change its thinking and behavior. To understand the “14 points” they must be viewed in the context of the new perspective rather than from the current viewpoint of American management. Many points are not intuitively obvious, and they appear radical to some. Although the points are presented separately and can create improvement individually, it is the synergistic implementation of all of the points that will transform an organization. Here are “the 14 points”:
1) developing the organization’s goals and philosophy,
2) understanding the philosophy of never-ending improvement,
3) replacing mass inspection with never-ending improvement,
4) changing the philosophy of purchasing,
5) improving the system,
6) instituting modern training methods,
7) supervising never-ending improvement,
8) driving out fear,
9) breaking down organizational barriers,
10) replacing numerical goals, posters, and slogans with never-ending improvement,
11) replacing management by numbers with never-ending improvement,
12) promoting pride of workmanship,
13) educating and retraining everyone,
14) structuring for never-ending improvement.
Ø 2) Translate “the 14 points” into Russian in writing.