Responding to TQM LO29286

From: Scott Simmerman (
Date: 10/09/02

Replying to LO29278 --

Hi. Been a while since I contributed as I've been out here lurking. But
always good to see the continued good stuff.

Barry talked about preferring "continuous improvement." And I think that
valid, for the most part.

But after long-term involvement with our Upstate Chapter of the American
Society for Quality, and the board chair one year, it was apparent that a
lot of the quality professionals and managers were using the working
language of "we did TQM." Meaning, one might think, that the continuous
improvement process was completed.

So, just to rattle the brain a bit, I started referring to this whole
approach as "Continuous continuous improvement." Of course, it gives the
spell checkers some fits but it also generates a clang with most people
who hear it for the first time.

The punch line was that AI got this from the Department of Redundancy
Department. ...grin...

My goal in languaging this way was to make even more obvious that the
"continuous" is in fact, just that. Way too many bureaucracies get
established in this quality improvement initiative and implement the
policies, practices and procedures and related controls that tend to make
it very difficult to actually implement changes in the ISO kinds of
improvement initiatives.

The good news is when the management team actually understands that the
Round Wheels of today become the Square Wheels of tomorrow.

I also like the quote that (apparently) Deming used from a mathematician,

  "All models are wrong. Some models are useful."


For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman, Ph.D. - "The Square Wheels Guy" Performance Management Company - 800-659-1466 <>

- Tools for Training and Development <> - Scott as Speaker <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.