Chapter Twenty-One: Homeostasis – Achieving Equilibrium with Cybernetics

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…a sustainable state of feedback mechanisms.

Why does an organization gain the ability to maintain a constant internal state of equilibrium – in spite of external conditions?



Conceptual Pattern for Homeostasis

Homeostasis is a stable situation in which forces cancel one another and reach equilibrium resulting in the presence of feedback mechanisms which can adjust the state of the system to compensate for changes caused by the external environment. It is an influential response to an inquiry resulting in a stable state.  Homeostasis is an effective, valid or applicable change that produces a powerful effect. It results in an equal distribution in which opposing forces or factors balance each other out.  Part of the output of a machine, system or circuit is returned to the input in order to regulate its further output. (Pattern Engine – Homeostasis N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of homeostasis is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of cybernetics is to achieve a stable, sustainable, state through the coordinated response of its systems, processes and activities to feedback mechanisms to maintain dynamic self-regulating equilibrium.

Second Principle: Cybernetics studies the flow of information round a system, and the way in which this information is used by the system as a means of controlling itself.1

Third Principle: Cybernetics incorporates the following three key ideas: systemic dynamicity; homeostasis around a value; and recursive feedback. 2

Fourth Principle:  Cybernetic systems must have the capacity to sense, monitor, and scan significant aspects of their environment and be able to relate this information to the operating norms that guide system behavior. 3

Fifth Principle: Cybernetic systems must be able to detect significant deviations from operating norms. 3

Sixth Principle: Cybernetic systems must be able to initiate corrective action when discrepancies are detected. 3

Key Conceptual Patterns 


Dynamicity is a driving or energizing force, characterized by action while providing an efficient incentive. It is an influential goal seeking activity that incites. Dynamicity is a positive motivational influence that is effective, valid or applicable and produces a powerful effect of change. Dynamicity results in action as a means of increasing output caused by some previous phenomenon that brings about an outcome. (Pattern Engine – Dynamicity N=12 © 2014)


Recursion is the use of repeated steps, each based on the result of the one before generated by a particular operation which defines a function or calculates a number by the repeated application of an algorithm.  It is a procedure maneuvering a series of functions. Recursion details a sequence of rules or sets of rules performed to solve a problem while controlling or managing the way a process works. Recursion is a part of a stage in a progression of a series of actions to achieve a particular goal. (Pattern Engine – Recursion N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Organizations –  the Executioners of Quality

1 Stafford Beer, 2000,, 2000,

3  Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization, 1986.

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Chapter Nineteen: Capability – The Indicator of Quality Performance or Not

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…conformance to requirements, but is not free.

Why is poor process capability equivalent to Russian roulette when it comes to customer satisfaction?



Conceptual Pattern for Capability

Capability is the total range of inherent variations in a stable process that is susceptible to a particular treatment expressed as potential ability. It is a sustained phenomenon resulting in an action to do something well. Capability is a series of actions directed toward a specific aim intended to achieve a result manifested in an effective way when measured against a standard that favors steady progress and typical behavior while accomplishing a task well with a particular amount of success and results in a particular way something is handled or managed. (Pattern Engine – Capability N=12 © 2014)

If capability is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of process capability is to demonstrate compliance with customer needs.

Second Principle: If a process is predictable and stable then its capability will be predictable. 1

Third Principle: Once the location of a process output has been described and the dispersion of the process output has been measured it is possible to make useful         comparisons between the Voice of the Process and the Voice of the Customer. 1

Fourth Principle: Capability can be expressed in ratios that compare the Voice of the Process with the Voice of the Customer or they can be simply expressed as the percent of the product that is exceeding specification limits.1

Fifth Principle: A measurable process characteristic is considered capable if one-  hundred percent of the data values fall within the specification limits.1

Sixth Principle: A simple estimate of the fraction of nonconforming product for a stable process can be obtained from a histogram of the measurements by dividing the number of nonconforming measurements by the total number of measurements in the histogram. 1  

Key Conceptual Patterns


A customer is current or potential buyer or user or of goods or services in a particular way from an individual or organization. A customer is a business organization that has authority to consume or employs a good or service that is founded to produce articles of commerce. A customer is a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action and a specific purpose to obtain a benefit or to solve a problem that may not be the actual purchaser of items that are used for later consumption. (Pattern Engine – Customer N=12 © 2014)


A detailed description of design criteria providing an exact measurement or detailed plan needed to make, build, or produce something. It is a detailed written statement regarding a standard point of reference. A specification represents something in words regarding certain or salient aspects, characteristics, or features of a subject matter or something seen, heard, or otherwise experienced or known. It is used in making a decision or judgment against which others can be evaluated against and intended future course of action aimed at a method for achieving specific objectives within a timeframe.(Pattern Engine – Specification N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Algorithms: Effective and efficient use of metrics and indicators.

1 Donald Wheeler, Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, 1995

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