How do you apply Deming’s principles in a non-punitive environment?

Deming’s 14 principles for Total Quality Management can enable an organization to compete effectively in this highly competitive world. They should be applied in a meaningful manner in the non-punitive environment so that benefits can be derived from it. A non-punitive environment is the one in which faults are not linked to an individual’s performance. Below are applications of Deming’s principle to non-punitive environment:

1.      Constancy of purpose: This requires having a purpose for continuous improvement and allocating resources to meet firm’s need competitively. This would enable to carry on the business and provision of jobs to employees in the non-punitive environment.

2.      The new philosophy: Now organizations have to perform such that there are no mistakes and errors, this is possible by adopting and effectively managing non-punitive approach.

3.      Cease dependence on mass inspection: Collective inspection should be stopped. This would allow employees to be monitored through various positive measures and quality.

4.      End lowest tender contracts: Make sure quality aspects are aligned with price. This is possible if purchase managers reduce the number of suppliers and handle them correctly.

5.      Improve every process: Improve all processes such that productivity improves. This is possible by making innovations and cutting down on costs by eliminating errors.

6.       Institute training on the job: Training should be provided to employees so that they can improve upon their skills and acquire new skills as well.

7.      Institute leadership: Leadership skills should be used in helping employees adapt to the non-punitive environment. Immediate action must be taken in case of error identification.

8.      Drive out fear: Fear among employees of going wrong should be eliminated by two way communication and confidential reporting so that employees work effectively.

9.      Break down barriers: Remove barriers between employees and departments so that employees can work cohesively in teams, so that root cause of errors can be known.

10.  Eliminate exhortations: Eliminate exhortations for employees demanding for instance no defects. This should be one by providing them with ways to do so and handle it.

11.  Eliminate arbitrary numerical targets: Try not to set quantitative standards for employees, such that they have to sacrifice other aspects like quality and productivity.

12.  Permit pride of workmanship: Let the employees feel proud for their work and let them achieve objectives. So that they are motivated and can accept and tackle their faults.

13.  Encourage education: Encourage education for all employees so that they are better able to adjust and apply the non-punitive approach. This will provide a competitive advantage.

14.  Top management commitment and action: Top management would be committed if its goals are aligned with that of the organization. Apart from this, top management should try to collectively manage all 14 points and manage the transformation effectively by involving employees. A non-punitive approach is only possible with top management support, who truly understand that errors are just symptoms which can be prevented