Business students get close-up look at Deming’s 14 Points

“It was a spiritual approach to management.”

Students in the UCSC Extension Principles of Business Analysis class will get an unusually personal peek into the foundational principals of management Saturday when guest speaker Pete Pappanastos stops by the campus to share what it was like to work with the 20th century business icon W. Edwards Deming.

Deming, who is credited with revolutionizing the Japanese auto industry after World War II, was largely known for his groundbreaking philosophies underlying today’s business practices developed in the latter part of the 20th century. He was an engineer, statistician, professor, and author of numerous books. Rather than espousing specific tools and methods, however, he focused on influencing how people thought about business.

“It was a spiritual approach to management,” says Pappanastos, vice president of business Development for Imagine TF, a Campbell-based tech company. An electrical engineer by trade, Pappanastos, worked with Deming as a colleague handling many of his consulting jobs and fielding referrals from Deming.


Deming traveled the world talking about his 14 Points for Management, key philosophic and programmatic principles that would improve the effectiveness of a business or organization; and the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, which describe barriers to improving effectiveness and continual improvement.

Companies focusing on quality would become more efficient, while those focusing primarily on costs would inevitably watch their costs rise and quality decline, according to Deming. Deming died in 1993.

The points, which include things like “drive out fear,” “break down barriers,” and “create constancy of purpose,” promoted a new philosophy in his day and continue to be relevant today, Pappanastos says. “Getting people on the same page is a spiritual event in my opinion.

Quality is a religion.” You just have to understand it’s much more overreaching than something you sell to a customer. “It’s a way of life.”

Pappanastos was the founding president of STEP Labs before it was sold to Dolby. He continues to consult with Vonzos Partners, a Silicon Valley investment capital firm where UCSC Extension instructor Richard Rondeau, PMP®, M.B.A., M.S. also works as a consultant.

Rondeau’s five-week class includes a focus on the Six Sigma techniques for process improvement and reflects global standards of the International Institute of Business Analysis.

“We are going over the best ways to make sure that your analysis helps your business align with its guiding principles,” Rondeau says. Students gain a foundation in business analysis and practical skills for the role and end up with an action plan for on-the-job implementation.

Rondeau, a Bay Area technology project manager and consultant with over 20 years’ experience working with Bay Area companies, has worked with The Gap, Gilead Sciences, Genentech, Safeway, Visa, Wells Fargo, Yodlee and many others companies.

“I’ve worked in a lot of shops in Silicon Valley and I’ve seen a lot of things done the hard way,” says Rondeau. “Whenever I run into things that really resonate with me about how to continuously improve, Agile, best practices, a real awareness of the customer—I find it started with Edwards Deming. He blazed the trail.”

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