Key People Featured:


W. Edwards Deming.   Taiichi Ohno   John Seddon  Dr Goldratt    D Shaninin   G Altshuller   


W. Edwards Deming

William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 – December 20, 1993) was an American statistician,professor, author, lecturer, and consultant Deming is widely credited with improving production in the United States during the Cold War, although he is perhaps best known for his work in Japan. There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing and sales (the last through global markets) through various methods, including the application of statistical methods.

Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's later reputation for innovative high-quality products and its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage. Despite being considered something of a hero in Japan, he was only just beginning to win widespread recognition in the U.S. at the time of his death

Dr. Deming's teachings and philosophy can be seen through the results they produced when they were adopted by Japanese industry, as the following example shows: Ford Motor Company was simultaneously manufacturing a car model with transmissions made in Japan and the United States. Soon after the car model was on the market, Ford customers were requesting the model with Japanese transmission over the USA-made transmission, and they were willing to wait for the Japanese model. As both transmissions were made to the same specifications, Ford engineers could not understand the customer preference for the model with Japanese transmission. Finally, Ford engineers decided to take apart the two different transmissions. The American-made car parts were all within specified tolerance levels. On the other hand, the Japanese car parts had much closer tolerances than the USA-made parts - e.g., if a part were supposed to be one foot long, plus or minus 1/8 of an inch - then the Japanese parts were within 1/16 of an inch. This made the Japanese cars run more smoothly and customers experienced fewer problems


Aguayo, Rafael (1991). Dr. Deming: The American Who Taught the Japanese About Quality. Fireside edition.

Baker, Edward Martin (1999). Scoring a Whole in One: People in Enterprise Playing in Concert. Crisp Learning.

Delavigne Kenneth T. and J. Daniel Robertson, "Deming's Profound Changes: When Will the Sleeping Giant Awaken?" (PTR Prentice Hall, 1994),

Deming, W. Edwards (1986). Out of the Crisis. MIT Press.

Deming, W. Edwards (2000). The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (2nd ed.). MIT Press. 

Deming, W. Edwards (1966). Some Theory of Sampling. Dover Publications. 

Gabor, Andrea (1992). The Man Who Discovered Quality: How W. Edwards Deming Brought the Quality Revolution to America. Penguin.

Gitlow, Howard S., Shelly J. Gitlow, "The Deming Guide to Quality and Competitive Position" Prentice Hall Trade (January 1987)

Perry Gluckman, Diana Reynolds Roome, "Everyday Heroes: From Taylor to Deming: The Journey to Higher Productivity" SPC Press, Inc. (March 1990)

Haller, Harold S (1993). Managing with profound knowledge: A management process based on the Deming management theory. Harold S. Haller & Company.  

Joiner, Brian L (1994). Fourth Generation Management: The New Business Consciousness. McGraw-Hill.

Kilian, Cecelia S (1992). The World of W. Edwards Deming - 2nd Edition. SPC Press, Inc.

Kohn, Alfie (1992). No Contest: The Case Against Competition; Revised edition. Mariner Books.  

Kohn, Alfie (1999). Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes. Mariner Books.

William J. Latzko, David M. Saunders, "Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management" Prentice Hall PTR (January 26, 1995)

Langley, Gerald J., Kevin M. Nolan, Clifford L. Norman, Lloyd P. Provost, Thomas W. Nolan, "The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance" Jossey-Bass (July 26, 1996)

Mann, Nancy (1989). Keys to Excellence: The Story of the Deming Philosophy - 3rd Edition. Prestwick Books.

Neave, Henry R (1990). The Deming Dimension. SPC Press, Inc.

Scherkenbach, William W (1991). Demings Road to Continual Improvement. SPC Press, Inc. 

Scholtes, Peter R (1997). The Leader's Handbook: Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done. McGraw-Hill.

Shewhart, Walter A (1939). Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control. Dover Publications December 1, 1986.

Shewhart, Walter A (1930). Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product/50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue. American Society for Quality December 1980.

Tribus, Myron (1992). Quality First: Selected Papers on Quality and Productivity Improvement -4th Edition. National Society of Professional Engineers. 

Walton, Mary (1986). The Deming Management Method. The Putnam Publishing Group.

Wheeler, Donald J (1999). Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos - 2nd Edition. SPC Press, Inc.



Taiichi Ohno


Taiichi Ohno (大野 耐一 Ohno Taiichi?, February 29, 1912 - May 28, 1990) was a prominent Japanese businessman. He is considered to be the father of the Toyota Production System, which became Lean Manufacturing  in the U.S.. He wrote several books about the system, the most popular of which is Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production. Born in Dalian, China, and a graduate of the Nagoya Technical High School (Japan), he was an employee first of the Toyoda family's Toyoda Spinning, then moved to the motor company in 1943, and gradually rose through the ranks to become an executive. In what is considered to be a slight, possibly because he spoke publicly about the production system, he was denied the normal executive track and was sent instead to consult with suppliers in his later career.



Ohno, Taiichi (1988), Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, Productivity Press.

Ohno, Taiichi (1988), Workplace Management, Productivity Press.

Taiichi Ohno's Workplace Management by Taiichi Ohno (2007), Translated by Jon Miller, Gemba Press.


Dr. Ellyahu M Goldratt


Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s work is carried out by consultants and educators around the world, and utilised by many of the world’s largest corporations, including IBM, Procter & Gamble, AT&T, NV Philips, ABB and Boeing. Unconventional, stimulating and “a slayer of sacred cows,” Dr. Goldratt exhorts his audience to examine and reassess their business practices with a fresh vision.

THE GOAL, his best selling business textbook written in novel form, illustrates Dr. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), an overall framework for helping businesses determine: what to change — not everything is broken, what to change to — what are the simple, practical solutions, and how to cause the change — overcoming the inherent resistance to change.

Dr. Goldratt has written numerous books on related topics, including IT’S NOT LUCK and CRITICAL CHAIN. His latest book, THE CHOICE rapily becoming the #1 bestseller in Japan. Dr. Goldratt is a frequent contributor to scientific journal, magazines and business publications; he sits on several editorial boards

Dr. Goldratt is Founder and Chairman of the Goldratt Group (Goldratt Schools, Goldratt Marketing and Goldratt Consulting), which has taken the Theory of Constraints practices to new heights with VIABLE VISION, a platform to improve business productivity and profitability. By enhancing the quality of decision-making, and improving communication and synchronisation throughout the organisation, Viable Vision is the strategy and specific tactics that deliver unprecedented performance and bottom-line results in all aspects of a company’s operations.

Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller

 (Ге́нрих Сау́лович Альтшу́ллер)(October 15, 1926 - September 24, 1998), penname Genrikh Altov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, USSR was Soviet engineer, inventor and scientist, journalist and writer.

He created the Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch (Theory of Solving Inventive Problems or TRIZ), in English called the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS). Working as a clerk in a patent office, Altshuller embarked on finding some generic rules that would explain creation of new, inventive, patentable ideas. During one of Joseph Stalin's purges he was imprisoned for political reasons and continued his studies with his fellow inmates while in a labor camp. After his release, Altshuller settled in Baku, Azerbaijan.

He worked as a journalist, essayist, and a science fiction writer. He published his science fiction under the pseudonym Genrikh Altov (Генрих Альтов), often in collaboration with his wife, Valentina Zhuravleva.

A full-fledged TRIZ movement developed among Soviet engineers and other technically inclined people by the 1970s, and Altshuller played the role of its intellectual leader. He lectured at TRIZ congresses, published articles and books and corresponded with various TRIZ practitioners. He became the founding member and president of the Russian TRIZ Association. A number of his close friends and students have become the most prominent thinkers and teachers of the movement, popularizing TRIZ in Russia and abroad.

For a long time he published articles on TRIZ, with examples and exercises, in the Soviet popular science magazine Izobretatel i Ratsionalizator (Inventor and Innovator).

Altshuller left Baku in the early 1990s amidst post-Soviet-breakup violence in the area. He settled in Petrozavodsk (Karelia in north-western Russia) with his wife and granddaughter. As a result, Petrozavodsk became the center of the TRIZ Association.

He died from complications of Parkinson's disease in 1998.


John Seddon


John Seddon is an occupational psychologist, researcher, management thinker and leading authority on change in organisations, making significant contributions to the role of human factors in quality. Author of the best-selling I Want you to Cheat: The unreasonable guide to service and quality in organisations, John is an outspoken critic of ISO 9000. He is often asked to write for the broadsheet press and management magazines. He has spoken and lectured at seminars, conferences, universities and schools of management around the world. John has a reputation for being controversial and challengng, but informed.

John’s early career was concerned with understanding behaviour in organisations. When his work began to take him overseas he developed an interest in the impact of “country culture” on organisational behaviour. This caused him to question much of what was accepted tradition in management training and education. John is Managing Director of Vanguard Education Ltd and Vanguard Consulting Ltd, a consultancy specialising in organisational change.

The first Vanguard organisation was established in 1985. Vanguard set out to approach changing behaviour in organisations in a more systematic way than it had been treated to date, rejecting plausible theories for practical empiricism. Vanguard quickly developed a reputation for effectiveness. When asked to audit quality programmes to determine what had limited their success, John found good ideas being implemented with little understanding of how to address the problems of changing people’s behaviour. Since those early days, Vanguard has been pioneering new methods of change in organisations.

John acknowledges the influence of W.E Deming and Taiichi Ohno on his work and today he describes what Vanguard does as a combination of systems thinking – ‘how work works’ and intervention theory – ‘how to change it’.


I Want you to Cheat: The unreasonable guide to service and quality in organisations, 1992 Vanguard

In Pursuit of Quality; The Case Against ISO 9000, 1997 Oak Tree Press, ISBN 1-86076-042-2

The Case Against ISO 9000: A systems thinker’s criticism of ISO9000 and ISO 9000:2000 Oak Tree Press, ISBN 1-86706-173-9

Transformation guides

Vanguard Guide to Call Centre Operations

Vanguard Guide to Business Excellence

Vanguard Guide to Understanding Your Organisation as a System

Self Managed Learning Guides

The Vanguard Guide to Process Mapping and Analysis

The Vanguard Guide to Using Measures for Performance Improvement

The Vanguard Guide to Using Control Charts

The Vanguard Guide to The Leader as a Model: What to talk about when managing by walking around

Vanguard Manuals

The Vanguard Guide to Finding Out What Matters to Customers

Vanguard Audio Tapes

The Case Against ISO 9000

Transforming Call Centre Operations

  • Re-Inventing Management
  • Introducing Lean Service

     Dorian Shainin

    A quality paradigm pioneer, consultant, engineer, author and college professor, Dorian Shainin (September 26, 1914 – January 7, 2000), has been credited for making contributions in the fields of industrial problem solving, product reliability and quality engineering, and is perhaps best known for the creation and development of the “Red X” concept.

    Shainin (pronounced SHAY-nin), founder of the technical-problem-solving company Shainin LLC, is responsible for the development of over 20 statistical engineering techniques that have become the core of the “Shainin System” for quality and reliability improvement.

    Throughout his life, Dorian Shainin worked to improve the quality and reliability of an array of products, including paper, printing, textiles, rubber, nuclear energy, airplanes, automobiles, cassette decks, space ships, light bulbs and disposable diapers, with clients representing over 200 different industries, ranging from the U.S Departmaent of Defense, Rolls Royce Ltd. and Exxon to Polaroid, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T and Ford Motor. In total, Shainin advised over 800 companies, 43 of which were among the Fortune 100.

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