About Me

Me Again

Husband. Father. Son. Writer. Cook. History Geek.  Deming Disciple. Change Agent.

That’s me.

I want to help organizations improve so their customers and employees lives can be improved. I post on what I’ve learned, what I observe, what I’ve read, and what I’m trying in my own work.

My philosophy is founded on the work of W. Edwards Deming. I use a lot of the techniques and tools used by the Agile community. I am dedicated to evolving, improving, and always learning.

I live in St. Augustine, FL and am a project manager in Jacksonville.

Holler at me if you want to chat.

6 comments

  1. I’m hollering: HI, DAN!

    Just discovered your site — nice job! I, too, am a strong Deming advocate and have synthesized my 30+ years of work in a book, Data Sanity, that uses a broadened concept of variation to propose an overall transformation framework, including psychology and needed leadership via a surprising catalyst.

    I discovered Dr. Deming in 1983 and it took me until 1989 to finally BEGIN to understand his philosophy. I’ve made all the typical naive mistakes in trying to “implement” his philosophy (especially pontification — I think back and am so embarrassed, but don’t we all do that initially? — and (surprise!) they never say “Thank you.” 🙂 ).

    It finally came all together for me in late 2014 and my 400-page book came out of me in a white heat — you can download the Introduction/Preface and brief chapter summaries via my LinkedIn profile or my website: http://www.davisdatasanity.com ). Trust me, I write better than Dr. Deming 🙂 (and conversationally). The only statistics I talk about require basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and the abilities to count to 8 and sort a list of numbers from lowest to highest. It’s about a mindset, not a tool set.

    [I’m hardly trying to sell you my book. The introduction/preface explains the “method to Balestracci’s madness,” and the chapter summaries show my “method” and system for implementing Dr. Deming’s philosophy — practically, through RESULTS.]

    I agree with you on two books: Dr. Deming was his own worst enemy in terms of explaining his philosophy (an understatement), and I feel that Henry Neave’s The Deming Dimension is a case of the “biblical concordance” being much, MUCH better than the original. I’ve never seen anything better at explaining things in such depth and clearly.

    I used Joiner’s Fourth Generation Management as a text for an on-line MBA course I was asked to design on statistical thinking (my 5-part series on data sanity on LinkedIn will show you why MBA students need it). It’s a great 30,000 foot overview and I take it several steps further in my book.

    I’ve been posting extensively on LinkedIn these last few months and also posted them via “conversations” to the Deming group — but there seems to be little interest. I think you might be intrigued by my 5-part series on data sanity.

    Given your interest in wanting to understand variation further, that series should help and I have a paper by Nolan/Provost that was seminal in my understanding. E-mail me if you’d like a copy.

    I have been writing for Quality Digest for over 10 years and you may like some of my topics: http://www.qualitydigest.com/read/content_by_author/11300 (titles with live links to the individual articles). Some are statistical, but many are also psychology, leadership, and culture.

    Thanks for “listening.” It’s nice to make a Deming “connection.”

    Good luck in your efforts and kind regards,
    Davis Balestracci

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    1. Oh wow. I know exactly who you are, Davis! Your post about not paying for Six Sigma created a must-read list for me. The Deming Dimension was one of them. Another was Understanding Variation. There are others I’m still working my way through.

      I’ve read quite a few of your posts on Quality Digest. I think you may be one of the first posts on the internet that I found about Deming. I am so honored you stopped by.

      Ah! Pontification. Yes. You hit the nail on the head. It can be hard not to. Especially if your back is against the wall and you feel like you are being blamed and there doesn’t seem to be any give in changing people’s minds. It can be trying sometimes (and exhausting). I’m trying to be less preachy, model more, use numbers to make my point, and basically just be more patient.

      I did not know you had a book. I will definitely add it to my list. I’ve read quite a bit on variation and I’ve certainly gotten better, but I still have a ways to understand. I’ll also be sure to look at the Data sanity posts on Linkedin. Yes, I’d like to see the paper from Nolan/Provost.

      Thanks for contacting me. It means a lot. It can get really lonely out there. Especially when it seems no one is listening. 

      ~Dan

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      1. Hi, Dan,

        Just wanted to write a quite note to acknowledge your very kind note and comments – and affirmation that I am not crazy (nor are you!).

        J

        Here is a link to the Understanding Variation article – I think it was written in 1990 and, at the time, I read it and re-read it and re-read it…

        * Understanding Variation

        I use it as an initial reading for an on-line MBA course I designed and taught – the students were petrified…and intrigued. I had them read it again the last week (Week 10) of the course and have an on-line dialogue about what they learned. They were amazed at how it now made sense! Joiner’s book helped.

        Here is an absolutely brilliant application of using a broad definition of variation to show its subtleties in medicine:

        * Controlling Variation in Healthcare: a Consultation from Walter Shewhart

        Nice to have a “colleague.”

        To be continued…

        Kind regards,

        Davis

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  2. Thanks for linking to my Steve Jobs post. I’m spending a lot of time in Orlando these days, so let me know if you’re in the area. I’m hoping to come to Jacksonville soon to visit the Lean Dentist, Sami Bahri, and other friends there.

    Like

    1. Oh my God! I would LOVE to meet you!! I listen to your podcast every day! I’m in Jacksonville and because of your podcast I learned about the Lean Consortium here in town and had lunch with Jerry Bussell! Yes! Let me know when you are in Jacksonville. I’d love to meet you! (sorry for going all fan-boy on you)

      Like

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