Lean and Agile Practices Have Their Roots in the Quality Revolution


In her Personality Matters series, Leslie Sachs examines the personalities and people issues that are found in technology groups from cross-functional, high-performance teams to dysfunctional matrix organizations.

price. Most of all we need to focus on improving constantly and permanently. Very often companies fail to recognize the value of training and also leadership. These are both essential investments that should be given top priority, but frequently are not give their proper value.

Breaking down barriers

Deming had the strong view that we need to break down barriers between departments and work completely as a team. Having just slogans and false targets do not help achieve success. Work standards including management by objectives often do not achieve their desired results and may actually result in undesirable outcomes. I have known of situations where managers made poor choices for the firm because their own objectives had to be met in order for them to collect the bonus that they had worked hard to receive. We need to break down barriers that rob professionals from pride in their work and the associated creativity that comes from a sincere desire to do excellent work.

Successful Companies

Successful companies come from focusing on education and self improvement. Organizations need to know that it is everyone’s job to accomplish the transformation. As you read the other articles in this issue, along with the many excellent texts on Agile and Lean, I believe that you will hear the echo of Deming’s words in many of the Agile and Lean practices. A wise man once said that in order for you to know where you are going, you must know from where you have come. The legacy of the Quality Management movement is indeed impressive and I hope that you will take the time to learn more as well as work hard to participate in the transformation to quality!

For this article, I used the excellent book written by W. Edwards Deming entitle Out of the Crisis published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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