Southwest’s Success Analysis

Continuous improvement is a philosophy that must be ingrained into a company’s culture in order to develop an innovative organization. The philosophy of continuous improvement is that “good enough” is not good enough. W. Edwards Deming is considered one of the fathers of the modern quality movement. His 14 points serve as a visual reminder of the critical elements of continuous improvement.

For this discussion, conduct your own research about the culture and successes/failures of Southwest Airlines.

  1. Identify five of Deming’s points that you believe apply significantly to Southwest Airlines’ success or shortcomings. Explain and support each of your five points.
  2. In your discussion responses to your classmates, advocate for your five points vs. their five; or, accept one of their points and explain why you found their point better. Back and forth discussion is strongly encouraged. Develop the clearest possible picture of Southwest’s current state.
  3. Work with your classmates to develop an action plan for Southwest: Based on Deming’s 14 points, how could Southwest overcome barriers the class has identified in the discussion to improve their quality and performance?

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