Design Quality: Learning from the Mistakes of the US Auto Industry


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This presentation covers the early success of the US auto industry, as pioneered by Henry Ford, through present day struggles. Detroit's "Big Three" ultimately self-destructed by focusing on production and short-term sales, while Japanese manufacturers, as influenced by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, focused on design quality. Deming's popular "14 Points" are applied to current trends in software and web development, as we draw from history to learn how the information technology field can avoid the same fate.

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Design Quality: Learning from the Mistakes of the US Auto Industry

  1. By JAKETRUEMPER@trump29
  2. • Like the Internet boom of the „90s, automobile manufacturing was exploding on the scene.• As many as 3,000 firms organized to produce autos.• Big three of the early 1900s were Olds, Ford & Cadillac.
  3. Hi, I’mHenry. • Henry Ford‟s first two ventures into auto manufacturing didn‟t stick. • One of those two ventures, The Henry Ford Company, became Cadillac, which became a central part of General Motors. • Massive influence on industry thinking.
  4. Everyoneshould totally get one of these things • While many competitors focused on high-end cars for the rich, Ford focused on lowering prices, and increasing sales by way of productivity improvements. • Accessibility tactic: Internet Explorer, Windows, Android • Ford also put much of the company profits into innovations.
  5. • Ford product diversity is minimized in order to maximize production efficiency.• Workers are paid well.• Roaring „20s… life is good.
  6. • Find a new frontier• Saturate the market• Stay on top
  7. • Ford technology gets stale.• GM grabs market share.• 1929, Stock market crash, hello great depression.• Henry Ford gets flaky, Ford Motors struggles.• 1941, WWII saves Ford‟s butt.• PRODUCE, PRODUCE, PRODUCE!
  8. • 1950-1967 was a good time for the big three US auto manufacturers.• Small manufacturers went bankrupt.• Any overseas competition had been bombed to irrelevance.• Emphasis on cost cutting to maximize profit.• Focus on large vehicles due to higher profit margin.
  9. • Japanese imports soared.• US consumers were willing to wait for Japanese cars with Japanese engines.• Reliability was far superior to US autos.• US‟ Big Three suffer from chronic over-production, and failed to foresee consumer demand for fuel efficient cars.
  10. I did it! • American statistician and quality guru, W. Edwards Deming. • Previously worked for the US Department of Agriculture, Bureau of the Census, and taught statistics at Stanford. • Influenced by Walter Shewhart. • “Quality can be improved only if top management is part of the solution.” • 1950, Deming goes to Japan.
  11. • June through August Deming met with hundreds of Executives, Engineers, Managers, and scholars to teach his quality philosophy.• Told the Japanese that they could capture the markets of the world by learning to produce quality goods for less effort and materials.• “Continuing information going into the system to improve it and the product.”• Today Deming is a well regarded national figure in Japan, and the Deming prize was founded in his honor.
  12. • While US manufacturers were focused on price, the Japanese focused on Quality.• By applying his techniques, Japanese manufacturing reached previously unheard of levels of productivity.• Japanese cars became synonymous with thoughtful design and reliability.
  13. 2001 Consumer Reports • American and European vehicles had 21 problems per 100 vehicles. • Asian manufacturers: 12 in 100.2002 Consumer Reports • Toyota: 10 in 100 • Honda, Hyundai: 11 in 100 • Chrysler: 20 in 100 • Ford: 23 in 100
  14. “Create constancy of purpose towards improvement of product and service…” • Establish focused goals of satisfying the customer. • Base decisions on long-term focus of the organization, not short-term performance measures.User-centered thinking can be achieved through integrated teams This is where Apple and Google really succeed
  15. “Adopt the new philosophy.” • Everyone is responsible for adopting the new philosophy, from low-level worker to top management. • … but especially top management.Communicate to your entire company who the user isand design with that user in mind – try User Personas
  16. “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.” • Quality should be designed into products and processes. • Inspection adds nothing to the value of a product and consumes resources. • Prevent Defects instead of detect them. Conduct iterative user testing earlyand often, prior to development and throughout Catching problems early means significantly less rework later
  17. “End the practice of awarding business based on price tag.” • Try to move to a single supplier in order to insure quality consistency. • Eliminate suppliers that cannot prove quality.Don’t be Ford, cutting costs wherever possible while your competitor is improving quality Don’t create silos with a wide variety of partners
  18. “Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.” • To remain competitive always seek to better products and services. Invest time in creative thinking – try lots of ideas, validate with usersInnovate, don’t rest on your laurels
  19. “Institute training and retraining.” • Everyone is an important link in quality. • Bring in people to teach design to all levels, because everyone in the process matters.Don’t pretend to be an expert insomething you’re not trained on Take UX training, get involved in user testing Don’t be cheap
  20. “Institute leadership.”• A leader‟s aim should be to help people do a better job.• Leadership isn‟t supervision.• Bring in experts that can be thought leaders.• Focus not on productivity, but quality.• “Do your best, continually seek to improve that best, look out for the people you are responsible for, and recognize that everyone is in this together.”
  21. “Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.” • Open two way dialogue. Dialogue should be open between a companyand the end user as well, whether that user is internal, end-customer, or b2b
  22. “Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.” • Create common purposes and values. • Each department should serve not management but other departments that uses it‟s outputs. Put developers, designers, and UX pros in the same room, all excited aboutcreating an engaging experience, and you’ll come up with some great ideas that are far more likely to become a reality than departments in silos
  23. “Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity.” • All these create adversarial relationships. • Poor quality is caused by the system, not the work force. • Eliminate unreasonable expectations.Unreasonable expectations are far more likely to demotivate than motivate, so create reasonable timelines Allow time for vetting creative ideas, there has to be time dedicated to ideation if a company is going to innovate
  24. “Abolish numerical quotas for the workforceand numerical goals for management.”• The responsibility of managers must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.• Numerical quotas are useless without processes that emphasize quality.
  25. “Remove barriers to pride.”• Eliminate performance reviews and merit systems• These barriers to pried cause competition and short-term results.
  26. “Institute a vigorous program of educationand self improvement.”• Even in areas not directly job related.
  27. “Put everybody in the company to work toaccomplish the transformation.”• The transformation is everyone‟s job.
  28. THANKS!@trump29 314.881.1900