Deming\'s 6th point
6. Institute training on the job.
In many industries, workers learn their skills from other workers who have themselves received inadequate training.
By providing training, you can save a lot of time and waste of material. Also after training it is worker's responsibility to do the job properly.
Re: Deming\'s 6th point
This point pretty much speaks for itself so there is not much more to say but I would like to add that, in keeping with Deming's other points, all workers (including producers, engineers, managers) need to be trained to identify problems and improvement opportunities. Remember: the key is improvement relative to observed problems. However, if people are just trained in the product but not the process by which the product comes to be, then there is not a focus on looking for improvement and certainly not looking for systemic improvement. Training to look for potential problem situations, as opposed to actual problem situations, is also part of this and is, in fact, the basis behind risk management and sees life in another related concept: the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). Also keep in mind that this point will relate to Point 13. What Deming wants to get across here is that all staff (including management) needs to be trained. Point 13 will then go more into the process of continuous training (to match the ideals of continuous improvement).
Also, a crucial point that Deming wanted to make here is that training is often one of the first things to be cut when an organization feels it needs to tighten its belt. The organization feels that this is saving them money, but Deming's point was that this is, in fact, costing the company more money in the long-run - just as a lack of quality focus costs the company in the long run or how just buying the cheapest materials ends up costing more in the long run. (This idea of long-term cost is yet another of the recurrent themes in Deming's points.) What this training emphasis requires is a shift in mentality for the organization such that they realize that people are the most important asset of the organization and, as such, they can be their most effective (and thus most positively impact the bottom-line) when they are well-trained.
Re: Deming\'s 6th point
I further the notion made by Jeff to train people to recognize problems and potentials for improvement. In the are of software this is still an essential skill.
There have yet to be well defined standards, procedures, and practices within the software industry as a whole. Each contributor coming to a team will likely have their own viewpoint, and their own training. Unlike other, older industries, this knowledge and training is bound to be quite disparate, and commonly conflicting.
Generic training on older practices, or practices that are common to all methods, will go a long ways to using the varying knowledge of the team.