Dr. Walter Shewhart – References

“Lastly, I would address one general admonition to all – that they consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and that they seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or fame, or power, or any of these inferior things, but for the benefit and use of life…”  Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626


The Influnece of C I Lewis on Shewhart and Deming G T PETERSON, EXCELSIS BUSINESS ADVISERS

  • In their writings, both Shewhart and Deming quote the work of the philosopher C I Lewis.
    Statisticians or management advisers do not normally refer to philosophers. So what was it in C I
    Lewis that attracted Shewhart and Deming, and how can we see its influence in their teachings?
    This paper picks out the main themes in Lewis’s best-known book, Mind and the World Order1
    , and demonstrates how these themes relate to the core teachings of Shewhart and Deming. However, this should not be taken to imply that Shewhart or Deming based their ideas on this philosophy; rather it should be taken that they saw parallels in Mind and the World Order that enabled them to put their ideas in a rational, philosophical context.

Mind and the World-Order, by C.I. Lewis

Dr Mark Wilcox. Centre for Business Performance; Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom. MK430AL

  • Shewhart’s control charts are a feature of statistical process control and linked to systems thinking. A system is a set of interconnected parts (processes) with a common purpose. A systemic view of the universe suggests that nothing ever ‘is’ (e.g. substance or static), but always in a state of ‘becoming’ (e.g. in flux). In this paper, I show how control charts are a semiotic device illustrating ‘being,’ ‘becoming’ and ‘prediction’. Articulating his work, Shewhart developed a discourse of flux as a means of describing the universe in motion.
    • “Semiotics” – The theory and study of signs and symbols, especially as elements of language or other systems of communication, and comprising semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics.

Recapturing the Spirit of Quality, Christina Mauléon
Göteborg, Sweden (2003)

  • It is well known that Walter A. Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming are seen as
    two of the founders of the modern quality movement. In this thesis, a review
    of their writings has been done, in order to reinvestigate the philosophical
    influences in their work.

Walter Shewhart ASQC 1967 – Articles highlighting his work and accomplishments.

Quality and Spirituality – by Tim J. Clark


Constitution – Originalist Position

CBNNEWS.COM Clarence Thomas: Scary Guy from the Right or Big-Hearted Believer?

05-27-2020 By Paul Strand
  • But he’s become famous for total dedication to the original meaning of the words in the US Constitution.
  • In fact, Jaffe said, “Scalia characterized him as ‘a bloodthirsty originalist.'”
  • In doing his research for his book, Rossum saw, again and again, this fierce dedication to figure out the Founders’ original intent.
    • What was the intention of those who drafted the Constitution in Philadelphia?” Rossum said Thomas is always asking. “What were the ends that they were attempting to achieve, what were the evils they were attempting to avert?”


Global Challenges to National Security

If China’s actions in the coronavirus catastrophe offer any window into this communist regime, it is that the threat they represent is unlike anything America has faced.  By 
  • John Poindexter is a former national security advisor. Robert McFarlane is a former national security advisor. Richard Levine is a former National Security Council director for policy development.
War Crime?
  • However, if U.S. intelligence services find proof that the PRC knew the virus escaped from its lab, or began in Wuhan some other way, yet locked down travel to other parts of China while permitting international travel from this city, at the time the Communist Party of China prevented essential international fact finding, this state committed what amounts to a war crime.
Precedence – How the U.S. reacted to past epidemics
  • Twice before this crisis, and in the living memory of many Americans, our nation has experienced pandemics. According to the CDC’s website, during the 1957 Asian Flu, “The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States.”
  • The U.S. population in 1957 was 172 million; thus, adjusted for our present population, the Asian Flu would have killed 222,000 Americans. Of the 1968 Hong Kong Flu, the CDC has written, “The estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the United States.” America’s population in 1968 was 201 million; adjusting for today, the Hong Kong Flu would have killed 164,000 Americans. Neither pandemic altered American economic life.
  • While some may argue the present pandemic could be much worse than the two that preceded it, the present dread, stoked by a foreign power, has certainly ruptured America’s economy in ways inconceivable before it.
  • The way we have answered this pandemic is not repeatable: our array of actions cannot be mounted if another wave or pandemic strikes. This is our gravest sin: we have shown China, Russia, and Iran, as well as terrorist actors, that our nation may be brought low if faced with a new pathogen.

Quality and Spirituality

Interesting post from a colleague on LinkedIn on the topic of Quality and Spirituality.

What Was Dr. Deming All About? Published on April 26, 2020, By Dave Nave, The Science & Artistry of Managing Well

My comment:  Dave Nave Thank you — Good topic and one that is rarely addressed. Deming’s work was “all about” reducing variation which is the foundation for his work and motivation inspired by his religious faith. He used the term “metanoia” to describe the needed transformation. Metanoia -” a transformative change of heart; especially: a spiritual conversion.” (See also the definition of born-again).

Deming indirectly linked the quality philosophy with biblical philosophy which introduces a “New Philosophy” or paradigm. Biblical philosophy identifies that God is perfect and man is imperfect but expected to improve.

Deming remarked that if he was to reduce his message to just a few words, it “all has to do with reducing variation.” e.g. reducing imperfection. Variation is a difference between the ideal (all human needs met) and the actual (imperfection).

Variation either gets better (more needs met) or it gets worse – cost (tangible and intangible), associated with needs not being met). Thus making the continual and continuous reduction of variation a moral imperative. Deming did not provide a definition of variation that provides the context for his work. I believe this was a deliberate decision and a challenge.

In summary, Deming was successful in developing and validating the proof of concept for a New Philosophy that may be added one day alongside the works of the other great philosophers in history.

I would end my comments with the question – How can Deming advocates be more successful in leading the transformation to the better philosophy and methods?

A suggestion for Foundation Principes for Quality Leaders.

Addition Information

Deming and references to his beliefs in Christianity.

  • Metanoia and Transformation II – Norman Todd , The Way, 52/2 (April 2013),
    • …  when I read the first edition of Deming’s book The New
      Economics, I found a short section that described a fundamental change
      of mind-set on which all subsequent organizational transformation
      depended. The section was headed ‘Metanoia’. In later editions it is
      retitled ‘The First Step’.
    • People who knew Dr Deming well have assured me that he was a
      sincere, practising Christian who played the organ in church and
      composed sacred music. But when I asked at his seminar if he
      had applied his teaching to the organization of the Church,
      he looked puzzled and said he had not.
    • If it is the particular newness of Deming’s First Step that is important
      there may be some parallel with the particular change of mindset
      (metanoia) requiring that everything from birth to death become new in
      the Kingdom of God. Without continuing metanoia the newness is lost
      and the old ways are resumed.

      • In the book of Revelation, in the letter to the angel of the church
        in Ephesus, the Spirit says, ” But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent and
        do the works you did at first. “(Revelation 2:4–5)
    • We must embrace the radical newness of life in Christ enjoyed by the
      apostolic Church, and follow the instruction of the angel of the Lord
      to the disciples when releasing them from prison in Acts 5:20.
      Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message
      about this life.

Foundation Principles for Quality Leaders

Principle:  A comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption (Merriam-Webster).

Variation. Individual and group capabilities in managing variation have always been the key to success at any age and in any aspect of life.

Assess your knowledge of variation?

Excellent quality.  The result of doing the right things, right.

  • Efficiency – doing things right.
  • Effectiveness – doing the right thing.

Responsibility. Within an organization, top management is responsible for quality because they are responsible for the design and execution of the systems. Systems determine the majority if not all in some cases, of the result.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    • How do “We”  describe more perfect or better?
    • What feedback do “We” need to assess progress?
    • What methods will “We” use to assess that change resulted in an improvement?

Reducing variation. The key to achieving excellent quality

  • Law of Variation – American Society for Quality
    • Everything and everyone varies – no two people or things are ever exactly alike. The closer things are to the optimum or ideal, the higher the quality and lower the costs (tangible and intangible).

Variation either gets better or it gets worse as defined by one or more individuals. (1)

  • Example: Health care is a human need that will never be perfectly met. Improvement that leads to greater access means fewer people go unserved.

ImprovementReducing variation from the ideal.

  • Standard:  Actions to improve a process and system result an outcome(s) where everyone affected by the change in the near, mid and long-term – benefits or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term. Everybody wins.
  • Ideal – Represents a standard of perfection that is uniquely defined, dynamic, and can never be perfectly met.
    • Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” –
      Vince Lombardi
  • Continuous and Continual.
    • Continuous – uninterrupted in time; without a break – 24×7.
    • Continual – regular or frequent; with a break.
    • Example: I maintain my car on a continual basis and expect the travel system to be continuously improved.

Four interrelated areas that are common to any successful change.  Anyone that has successfully made and sustained a positive change has reduced variation. There are four interrelated areas that are an integral component of change.

  • Motivation – Desire for a change.
    • Extrinsic – driven by a reward or punishment.
    • Intrinsic –  do it for the love of it, feels right, fun, enjoyable, aligns with purpose
  • Action. All action is accomplished through a process in the context of a system.
    • Process – Transforms inputs into outputs that meet expected outcomes.
    • System – A system is a collection of processes with a common aim. Systems determine 85-100% of the result.  
    • Aim. An ideal aim of a system is to meet a human need (s).
    • Example. A daily commute to work or school is accomplished through a process (habit) that is made possible by a transportation system. The aim of the system includes allowing for a safe, economical, convenient, and enjoyable trip. The system includes the needed infrastructure (roads, bridges), energy (gas, electric), technology (cars, planes, trains, bicycles) statutes and regulations, licensing, insurance, law enforcement, et.al.
  • Feedback
    • Variation either gets better (more needs being met) or it gets worse (the same or fewer needs are being met).
    • Quantitative – Numbers
    • Qualitative – Words
    • Example: In the case of commuting, quantitative would include time and expense. Qualitative would include your description of the experience regarding safety, road conditions, the behavior of other drivers, etc.
  • Learning – The Story
    • We often share our story with others of a change that was made with others that describe what was done, why, what was learned, the result, and maybe any surprises that were discovered along the way.

Application Frameworks

Context.  The broader perspective that supports the value of the change:

Systems of Profound Knowledge (SoPK). Dr. W Edwards Deming developed a comprehensive theory of management. that integrates four interrelated areas. These areas and the concept in a more common context (in parentheses) are identified below:

  • Psychology  (Motivation)
  • Appreciation for a system (Action)
    • In his book When Jesus Came to Harvard, Making Moral Choices Today, Harvey Cox made the following observation regarding moral choices:
      • “…. there has been an emerging convergence of the two ways of thinking that includes the consequences of action and inaction.”
      • “We can now do great evil without intending to. What we need today is more awareness, a wider recognition of how vast systems we are caught up in can do terrible things and how we can contribute to evil without even being conscious of it.”
  • Knowledge of variation,  (Feedback)
  • Theory of knowledge (Learning)

The academic and business case that supports the foundation for the SoPK and Executive Decision Making was developed by Dr. Gregory H. Watson.

Variation either gets better or it gets worse

  • The Taguchi Loss Function. The more a product deviates from the ideal (nominal, optimum), the higher the cost to society.
  • W. Edwards Deming: “Anything less than optimization of the whole system will bring eventual loss to every component in the system” (W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics, p.53)

Leading Change – “Critical Mass” of leaders required.  Deming estimated that the number of leaders needed to achieve critical mass could be calculated as the square root of the number of people in the organization. So a critical mass for a hundred person organization would be 10 people.

A Way Ahead – Local Farmers Market Controversies

 A Better Way to Deal with the Bloomington Farmers Market Controversy

By Timothy (Tim) J. Clark

Updated Oct 8, 2019.

The effects of the controversy involving the Bloomington Farmers Market (BFM) identify an opportunity to take a fresh look at the methods and strategies for how the community addresses challenging issues.

The methods applied so far to address the BFM situation have resulted in a reduction in market attendance from 40,000 to 16,000. They have also resulted in unflattering local and national attention, which attracted the interest of what is perceived to be far-right and far-left groups. These groups’ involvement contributed to the perceived need to shut down the market for two weeks. This shutdown had an adverse economic impact on almost all the vendors.

To help prevent actions that can lead to violence within a community, the Department of Homeland Security proposes applying a whole-of-society approach that would have to be supported at the local level of government.

The controversy does not appear to be ending anytime soon, so a better process is needed to resolve the BFM issue as well as any other problems that arise in the future. The development of an enhanced capability for problem resolution and decision making will have practical benefits within the community, Indiana, and the nation.

Inspiration for this better problem-solving approach can be found in the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. system of government is designed to enable “We the People” to continually work together toward the ideal of “a more perfect Union.”   Working toward “a more perfect Union” requires continually improving the strategies and methods that will result in achieving outcomes where everyone benefits or at least is not any worse off in the long-term. This requires addressing a few questions, including:

  1. As a community, how do “We the People” describe and define “more perfect” — that is, what is the ideal?
  2. What feedback will need to be collected to assess progress in working toward the ideal in the near-, mid-, and long-term?
  3. What methods will be applied to assess whether the changes made to the system are resulting in improvement?

Indiana University (IU) could prove to be an important resource when addressing the first question, as it has gone through the process of defining its ideal. IU’s strategic plan identifies its ideal as being “one of the great research universities of the twenty-first century.” This vision includes “Engaging in the economic, social, civic, and cultural development of Indiana, the nation, and the world by building on the base of excellence in research and education.”

IU could also be a good resource when answering the second question. Its research strategy could be reviewed and assessed to get an idea of the types of feedback that could be collected and where to get it. This feedback would need to include qualitative and quantitative data.

Finally, Walter A. Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming have developed methods that should be used to determine whether changes are resulting in improvement for everyone. Shewhart developed methods that can be used to close the gap between the actual situation and the ideal. These improvement methods have been integrated within the International Organization for Standardization standards.

Deming developed a philosophy that supports Shewhart’s methods. Deming estimated in 1986 that it would be another 50 years (2036) until the new philosophy and methods were more commonly acknowledged in liberal education, science, and industry.

Reducing the gap between the current situation and the ideal requires the continual application of better methods for making changes that “We the People” will conclude result in systemic improvements. The controversy with the BFM provides an opportunity to experiment with the new philosophy and methods.

U.S. Grand Strategy – China

June 17, 2019, The National Interest,  America Must Prepare for the Coming Chinese Empire
Excerpts and comments from readers
Grand strategy is not about what we should do abroad. It is about what we should do abroad consistent with our economic and social condition at home.

Power is not only economic and military: it is moral. And I don’t mean humanitarian, as necessary as humanitarianism is for the American brand. But in this case, I mean something harder: the fidelity of our word in the minds of allies. And that predictability is gone.”

Unable to look ourselves in the mirror and see our flaws and limitations, we concentrated too much on our military, and invaded or intervened in one Muslim country after another in the 2000s and achieved nothing as a result.

Thus, the competition between the United States and China will coincide with a political-cultural crisis of the West against a resurgent East.

Yet, even at our worst, our political system is open and capable of change in the way that China, and that other great autocratic power, Russia, are not. A world in which the United States is the dominant power will be a more humane world of more personal freedoms than a world led by China.

In the end the competition between China and America, as it was between the US and USSR, is a competition between ideas and values. China cannot take America’s place because no matter how much material prosperity it brings, people will not value authoritarianism and oppression once they have enough materially. Hong Kong and Taiwan are models of the future not Beijing.

A divided America is in danger of collapse, cheered on by China. But a united America, confident in its values and strengths will certainly outlast and contain the Chinese dreams of empire, just as it did the Soviet one.


All criticisms of America aside (and, yes, there are plenty) it is ABSOLUTELY superior to China in one vital way. American democracy, for all its flaws, is better than ANY form of authoritarian rule. Chinese communism (or whatever China wants to call it) involves stripping the Chinese people of their basic human rights, their culture, and their individualism. WHY would China’s neighbors “trust” China when they can’t even govern according to the will of their own people?

In the end, we have two major schools of thought vying for the leading role in the world. One is a heavily-flawed democracy, and the other is an oppressive regime.

The next battle front is economic, and China is doing its best to prepare. However, China still has far too much dependency on US manufacturing to survive that battle. The longer China delays the battle, the better for China. Unfortunately for China, the US has fired the warning shot with the tariff “war”, and China is ill-prepared for the battle right now.

If China tries to fight the economic war today, it has already lost. If they agree to the primary concessions requested by the US , without giving up too much, they will live to fight another day. With another 10-15 years of expansion, China may be able to win the economic war.

The Chinese people deserve a better form of government. The American people deserve a better government. The difference is that America’s government is a flawed version of the better form of governance. China’s government is an efficient version of a flawed form of governance. Flawed democracy is better than perfect Communism every time.



“In No Uncertain Terms”

ASQ Quality Progress, May 2019 article: In No Uncertain Terms

Key Point: “When thinking about the terms “continual” and “continuous,” you could easily argue that a relative difference exists, as evidenced by the terms’ various definitions in Table 1. The main difference between the terms is time—in the definitions of “continual,” there are breaks in time. In the definitions of “continuous,” however, there aren’t.”

W. Edwards Deming is recognized as developing the new philosophy for quality management. The distinction between continual and continuous identified above aligns with his philosophy. Deming concluded that if he was to reduce his message to just a few words, it all has to do with reducing variation.

At an individual level, improvement is continual.  At a group or system level, the improvement must be continuous because quality either gets better or it gets worse.

The article also references ASQs definition of CQI, as stated by authors Jeffrey K. Liker and James K. Franz that included the statement: “In reality, continuous improvement is a vision, a dream, and no company in real life can possibly always get better.”  I disagree with this contention. The statement as to the impossibility of improvement supports the need for a broader philosophical context that is provided in ASQ’s description of variation:  What is Variation? – The Law of Variation | ASQ

” … The Law of Variation is defined as the difference between an ideal and an actual situation. ..

An ideal situation represents a standard of perfection—or the highest standard of excellence defined by stakeholders, including direct customers, internal customers, suppliers, society, and shareholders. 

Though manufacturing groups and service providers strive for an ideal situation, they usually do not achieve this goal. Therefore, stakeholders almost always experience some variation from the perfect situations they envision. Reducing the variation stakeholders experience is the key to quality and continuous improvement.

A more common understanding of variation would provide a needed context for understanding the important distinction between continual and continuous.

In regards to travel, I commute to work via an automobile.  I want a transportation system that is safe, affordable, economical, does not harm the environment and is continuously being improved.

On an individual level, a continual improvement would include car maintenance and complying with traffic laws. Continuous improvement of the system (24×7, 365 days a year) requires the involvement of many people.









On Point: China’s Communist Dictatorship Targets American Creativity

Source: RealClearPolitics.com

On Point: China’s Communist Dictatorship Targets American Creativity

  • The Houston Chronicle said on the macroeconomic cost: “After a 2017 report that found intellectual-property theft by China costs the U.S. as much as $600 billion annually
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray called China ‘the broadest, most significant’ threat to the nation and said its espionage is active in all 50 states.”





May 2, 2019.  The search for the kryptonite that can stop CRISPR

Earlier in 2016, the US intelligence agencies had designated gene editing as a potential weapon of mass destruction. That September, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had jumped in, putting out a call for new ways to control or reverse the effects of gene-editing technology. The program, called Safe Genes, would end up with a budget of more than $65 million, making it one of the largest sources of cash for CRISPR research, aside from biotech startups developing new genetic treatments.