The W. Edwards Deming Outstanding Training Award is presented annually to a federal government organization or civilian branch of the military that has demonstrated innovative training excellence through a workforce development and training program that has measurably benefited the organization.
An important figure at Graduate School USA and the inspiration for our annual Deming Award, international management pioneer W. Edwards Deming was an instructor and a leader here for more than twenty years. He believed that transformation “is everyone’s job,” and that businesses seeking change must make a long-term commitment to new learning and new philosophy.
For us, successful training is training that reaches all parts of an organization—empowering individuals to achieve at every level. We share Dr. Deming’s ideas about the transformative powers of lifelong learning and the importance of cooperation and support among teams.
Winners of the Deming Award represent a range of priorities and missions: the Naval Air Systems Command; the Social Security Administration; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are among the organizations honored during the last two decades.
The winning programs have involved classroom courses; cloud-based training; outside-the-classroom experiences; virtual classes for individuals at multiple locations; and various combinations of delivery modes. They have trained (among many others) judges, executives, administrative assistants, park rangers, scientists, engineers, and housing advocates.
What all Deming-winning projects have in common, however, is that they are developed with a long-term vision for an organization's future by teams who are willing to innovate and to see the project through over the long haul, demonstrating Deming's "commitment to new learning." These projects also engage and benefit participants across multiple levels or areas of an organization, demonstrating employee buy-in and cooperation. Finally, all Deming-winning projects are data-driven to some degree and their success can quantified by the organization.
Presented each year at the Excellence in Government conference, the Deming Award identifies the winning project as a training innovator, validating and honoring group efforts inside and outside a parent organization and often paving the way for expansion of the effort and/or the creation of further agency projects.