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Similar but Different

Quality Mag’s Jim L. Smith examines the work of Dr. Walter A. Shewhart’s and Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s approaches in business. See my key takeaways underneath.


  • Shewhart’s control charts theory taught businesses to differentiate between the chance common and special assignable causes that can affect an organization’s process
  • Deming offered that confusing the interpretation of the two is what leads to frustration and usually, “94% belong to the system (management), 6% are special”
  • Distinguishing between the two and seeing the difference in Shewhart’s and Deming’s approaches can have different implications for your quality management and improvement program


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