There is a penalty for ignorance. We are paying through the nose.
Where there is a lack of quality there is a failure to understand variation. Everything varies. Statistics help us to predict how much of which things are going to vary. It is a company's responsibility to know whether problems in excessive variation are in the design of its system or in the behavior of the people. Both can be improved.
They realized that the gains that you get by statistical methods are gains that you get without new machinery, without new people. Anybody can produce quality if he lowers his production rate. That is not what I am talking about. Statistical thinking and statistical methods are to Japanese production workers, foremen, and all the way through the company, a second language. In statistical control you have a reproducible product hour after hour, day after day. And see how comforting that is to management, they now know what they can produce, they know what their costs are going to be.
To successfully respond to the myriad of changes that shake the world, transformation into a new style of management is required. The route to take is what I call profound knowledge - knowledge for leadership of transformation.
We cannot rely on mass inspection to improve quality, though there are times when 100 percent inspection is necessary. As Harold S. Dodge said many years ago, 'You cannot inspect quality into a product.' The quality is there or it isn't by the time it's inspected.
You should not ask questions without knowledge.
The emphasis should be on why we do a job.
We do not know what quality is.
The job can't be finished only improved to please the customer.
We must understand variation.
The most effective way to improve quality or value is to reduce the variation in the processes whereby products are manufactured or services delivered.
We should be guided by theory, not by numbers.
The most important figures for management of any organization are unknown and unknowable.