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

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.

You cannot define being exactly on time.

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.

You cannot inspect quality into the product; it is already there.

The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.

We are here to make another world.

You cannot hear what you do not understand.

The customer is the most important part of the production line.

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.

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.

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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