Chapter Eighteen: Waste – Knowledge without Know-How

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality ISwaste when knowledge is not used to good effect.

Why does wasted knowledge lead to wasted action and chaos?



Conceptual Pattern for Waste

Waste is the failure of inefficient or non-essential activities to consume resources in a way that adds value. It is an event that is perceived as an economic or productive factor. Waste is characterized by inadequate growth, development, or production. Waste is something that does not accomplish its intended purpose or required function within specified limits. It is the extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to not meet needs or wants and thus rendering something useless. Waste does not contribute to the accomplishment of an activity as a source of aid or support that can be drawn upon when needed for survival. (Pattern Engine – Waste N=12 © 2014)

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

First Principle: The purpose of waste is to reduce efficiency and effectiveness and to hamper execution.

Second Principle: Waste is the failure to use the knowledge of variation and control wisely, properly, fully or to good effect.

Third Principle: The performance of routine sampling with unacceptable error leads to wasted action.

Fourth Principle: Wasted action results from reacting to an outcome as if it came from a special cause, when actually it came from common causes of variation or reacting to an outcome as if it came from common causes of variation, when actually it came from a special cause. 1

Fifth Principle: Developing and implementing product specifications without taking into consideration the voice of the process, the voice of raw materials and the voice of the customer leads to waste for the supplier, waste for the processor and waste for the customer.

Sixth Principle: The most common organization wastes are: overproduction of sold product, waiting for activities to be completed, to transport from point A to point B, the inefficiency of processing steps,  inventory of unsold goods, motion where it is not needed, defects, and spoilage.2

Key Conceptual Patterns


The extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet needs or wants. Value is the quality that renders something useful. It is the worth or importance of something to somebody. Value is an essential and distinguishing attribute and a motivating force that compels action for its satisfaction. Value is something tangible or intangible that results in a grade or standard that identifies the essential nature of something resulting in something that is a requirement or is wanted or is necessary but lacking. (Pattern Engine – Value N=12 © 2014)


A resource is an economic or productive factor required to accomplish an activity as a source of aid or support that can be draw upon when needed for survival. Resources have influence on outcomes. A resource contributes to the act of continuing an activity without interruption while fulfilling a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose. Activities need resources that help them be successful, influence whether an event happens or the way that it happens and compete successfully within the environment. (Pattern Engine – Resource N=12 © 2014)

1W Edwards Deming, The New Economics for Industry, Government Education, 1994.

2 Don Tapping, Tom Luyster and Tom Shuker, Value Stream Management, 2001.

Next Post: Conformance – The Indicator of Quality Performance – or Not

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Chapter One – Exposing Meaning

LOGO FINALQuality IS…a pattern of allied concepts.

Why seek meaning in conceptual fields of knowledge and those allied concepts, principles and paradigms that describe and control them and then connect them with a theory?


(Note: Since this is blogged book, the most recent post is the last post.)

“People like to think that businesses are built of numbers (as in the “bottom line”), or forces (as in “market forces”), or things (“the product”), or even flesh and blood (“our people”). But this is wrong…Businesses are made of ideas — ideas expressed as words.”    – James Champy

The word “Quality” is a noun.  Concrete nouns are people, places or things. Quality is an abstract noun — an idea or concept. Meaningful faith, a meaningful democracy, meaningful quality, and the meaning of being a republican are all useful concepts for relating meaning to the reality of our lives. If you were asked—“What does republican or democrat mean?”—would you turn to a dictionary for the answer?  Perhaps, with some difficulty and critical thinking, you would choose to communicate what republican means in a rich description. You would format your explanation as a pattern of your thoughts. Your thought processes would call upon your knowledge and the principles, concepts and paradigms that you connect with that knowledge.  It would be very difficult for you to communicate what republican means with just a string of words typically found in a dictionary.  The difficulty lies in the nature of the words. Abstract concept nouns like faith, republican, democracy or quality do not belong in the typical dictionary. They cannot be defined. They must be explained to be understood, and understanding is a prerequisite for meaning.

Meaning is best comprehended in rich descriptions that I shall call conceptual patterns. Meaning cannot exist without patterns of thought that are built on a foundation of associated knowledge, principles, concepts and paradigms. If you want to know how to make the experience of being a republican or democrat meaningful perhaps you would do the following and expose the DNA:

  • Recognize the knowledge domains that encapsulate it.
  • Distinguish the domains with a purpose.
  • Express those domains in principles.
  • Categorize and link the concepts captured by principle in a way that is consistent.
  • Forecast the implications as conceptual patterns.
  • Clarifying everything in your own theory that addresses How, What and Why.

When abstract nouns have meaning then, principles that are universal, sound and sustainable is the result. Without universal, sound and sustainable principles — practices are ineffective with short life cycles. That which could be meaningful is left open to interpretation by anyone, at anytime for any purpose. This blog will walk you through a process for capturing and describing the meaning of Quality— OR ANY ABSTRACT NOUN OF YOUR CHOICE and express the results in a theory.

Until his death in December 1993, W. Edwards Deming was working on revisions of his last book, The New Economics, published in 1994. Deming wrote: “Without theory there is nothing to revise. Without theory experience has no meaning. Without theory there is no learning.”

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