If one wanted to learn more about Deming and his approach to process improvement, a good place to start could well be The Deming Institute
, because they seem to be focussed on Deming and are "just the facts m'am" and no BS.
A lot of the Deming material was formerly available via MIT (where he taught) and on the Internet in the public domain from there and from some other educational institutions. It seems to have all been expunged (though I have some copies) and put under the umbrella of The Deming Institute
Their website currently has these sections:
There are a lot of useful books and teaching materials for sale in the Store
. Looks expensive. I'd suggest you could do worse than check on Amazon for used copies first, before buying from the store.
In section The Man
, they say:
...The impact of his revolutionary ideas has been compared to those of Copernicus, Darwin and Freud. ...
Now that might be true, but some people (not me, you understand) might say that there is a very big difference between those great seekers after truth and Deming, in that the knowledge contained in the writings and speech of Copernicus, Darwin and Freud is freely accessible, is available for free, and is not locked up in commercial copyright by some parasitic self-appointed authority and moneygrubbing organisation acting as keeper of the keys and that extorts a small ransom from any student as the price for such important knowledge/education - but I couldn't possibly comment.
As a mathematician/statistician, Deming was indeed a seeker after truth, and over his lifetime he contributed a great deal to knowledge in the domain of operations research.
He was scientific and pragmatic, advocating the use of simple
statistical control charts (as per Shewhart) as the way to understand a business process. (This was where an understanding of simple variance analysis proved so useful.) It was basically "Find out for yourself. Study the process using statistical control charts and you will find the observations are the process talking to you, telling you about itself, and you can use the data to understand and prove everything that happens in the process. Then use the PDSA to improve the process."
Some relevant quotes:
"In god we trust, all others bring data."
"Action that is not based on sound theory/good practice is irrational by definition."
If you wanted to know what the Japanese thought (and still think) of Deming's contribution to their country and its huge economic development and success, look up the history of JUSE
and The Deming Prize
, and do some research on what that flower-shaped thingy is that Deming has on a sash he wears over his dinner jacket in one of the photos in that small collage in The Man