W. Edwards Deming, fully William Edwards Deming

W. Edwards
Deming, fully William Edwards Deming

American Statistician, Business Innovator, Professor, Author, Lecturer and Consultant

Author Quotes

We should work on our process, not the outcome of our processes.

The prevailing style of management must undergo transformation. A system cannot understand itself. The transformation requires a view from outside. The aim of this chapter is to provide an outside view—a lens—that I call a system of profound knowledge. It provides a map of theory by which to understand the organizations that we work in. The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people. Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to.

We want best efforts guided by theory.

The principle that where there is fear, there will be wrong figures.

What is a system? A system is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system. The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system. The aim must include plans for the future. The aim is a value judgment. (We are of course talking here about a man-made system.)

The result of long-term relationships is better and better quality, and lower and lower costs.

What is the variation trying to tell us about a process, about the people in the process?

The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they we taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management.

What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for individual competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis.

Defects are not free. Somebody makes them, and gets paid for making them.

It is important that an aim never be defined in terms of activity or methods. It must always relate directly to how life is better for everyone. . . . The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system. The aim must include plans for the future. The aim is a value judgment.

Quality is everyone's responsibility.

Does experience help? NO! Not if we are doing the wrong things.

It is leadership's responsibility to give detailed specifications. Train people until they are in statistical control (until they are achieving as much as they can within the limits of the system you are using). Create teams that develop an esprit. Make personal self-improvement a company goal.

Quality is everything. It is the basis for the joy of work. It is the reason anyone wants your product. It will keep you in business, which is your objective.

Eliminate numerical quotas, including Management by Objectives.

It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and THEN do your best.

Quality starts in the boardroom.

Experience by itself teaches nothing... Without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence, without theory, there is no learning.

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

Rational behavior requires theory. Reactive behavior requires only reflex action.

For Quality: Stamp out fires, automate, computerize, M.B.O., install merit pay, rank people, best efforts, zero defects. WRONG!!!! Missing ingredient: profound knowledge.

It's management's job to know.

Teamwork should be based on knowledge, design, redesign and redesign. Constant improvement is everyone's responsibility. Most causes of low quality and productivity are system design problems.

A goal without a method is cruel.

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W. Edwards
Last Name
Deming, fully William Edwards Deming
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American Statistician, Business Innovator, Professor, Author, Lecturer and Consultant