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Using a Deming Lens to Investigate and Solve Managerial Challenges

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Mustafa Shraim Ohio University

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Dr. Mustafa Shraim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology & Management at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He received both of his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Ohio University in 1986 and 1989, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University in 1996.

Dr. Shraim’s research interests are in the area of quality engineering. Specifically, they cover Lean / Quality methods and including incorporating experimental design to optimize operations. Other research interests include the Deming System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK), developing continuous improvement programs as well as sustainable management systems based on ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and other international standards.

He has over 20 years of experience in the quality management field as a quality engineer, corporate quality manager, consultant and trainer. His experience is extensive in quality management systems as wells as Lean and Six Sigma methods. In addition, he coached and mentored Green & Black Belts on process improvement projects in the manufacturing and service industries.

Dr. Shraim is a Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) & a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) by The American Society for Quality (ASQ). He is also a certified Quality Management Systems (QMS) Lead Auditor by the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) in London. He was elected a Fellow by ASQ in 2007.

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Kelly Allan Kelly Allan Associates, Ltd.

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Kelly Allan is the senior associate of Kelly Allan Associates, Ltd. Kelly wrote a new chapter for the 3rd Edition of Dr. Deming’s seminal book, THE NEW ECONOMICS. The chapter explains the relevance of Deming’s leadership method, includes case studies, and offers guidance on how to “do Deming” to move beyond tactical quality to strategic quality.

Kelly is Chair of the The Deming Institute Advisory Council and conducts seminars on Deming's System of Profound Knowledge on behalf the The Institute. Kelly’s published work has appeared in Business First, Fast Company, Personnel Journal, Marketing News, Inc Magazine, Business Marketing Association News, Harvard Business Review, and The Wall Street Journal. He has been featured in Fast Company, Quality Progress, The Masterful Coaching Field Book, The Knowing-Doing Gap, and Abolishing Performance Appraisals.

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In most organizations, managers and supervisors face challenges related to effective use of time, issues with productivity and communications. Managers’ challenges range from doing more with less --to motivating employees. To solve these challenges effectively means identifying their underlying causes, which are seldom addressed. In this study, over 120 interviews of supervisors and managers in various industries were conducted to identify top challenges. The interviews were conducted by senior-level students as a required assignment in an engineering leadership course at a major Midwestern university. The results show that motivating employees and communicating effectively are the top 2 challenges, respectively, with time management being third. In this paper, the top challenges are analyzed using the Deming Management Method and specifically Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) lens. The SoPK lens is used to ask: • Are the root issues of the challenges typically overlooked or misdiagnosed? • Can the SoPK lens provide insight as to how organizations can address the challenges? If so, how? • What can be done about each challenge individually and collectively to reduce the burnout of managers?

Shraim, M., & Allan, K. (2021, July), Using a Deming Lens to Investigate and Solve Managerial Challenges Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37981

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