14, not 3, is a Magic Number for Dr. Deming and Toyota
Those of us who grew up with “Schoolhouse Rock” will remember the song “3 is a Magic Number.”
I’m no numerologist, but I’ve always wondered… what’s special about 14?
Professor Liker recently posted this in his LinkedIn group:
On the magic number 14, I shuffled around my principles many times adding, subtracting, combining. I did want to avoid thirteen, but otherwise it was a coincidence.
So there you have it.
There is a strong parallel that point #1 in both lists is about long-term thinking. The 14 points aren’t meant to map directly to each other… but I’ve combined them into the table below.
|Dr. Deming’s 14 Points||The Toyota Way|
|1||Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.||Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.|
|2||Adopt the new philosophy.||Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.|
|3||Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.||Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.|
|4||End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.||Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.|
|5||Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.||Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.|
|6||Institute training on the job.||Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.|
|7||Adopt and institute leadership.||Use visual control so no problems are hidden.|
|8||Drive out fear.||Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.|
|9||Break down barriers between staff areas.||Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.|
|10||Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce.||Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.|
|11||Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.||Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.|
|12||Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.||Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).|
|13||Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.||Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (nemawashi).|
|14||Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.||Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).|
Of these 28 points, which are strongly followed in your organization? Which are the biggest opportunities for improvement?