The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

The Futility of a Numerical Goal

Guest post by Tim Higgins In discussions about goals, I typically find attempts to create two distinct categories of goals. I see the words “arbitrary goals.” Arbitrary numerical goals are believed to be bad, problematic. Some numerical goals the non-arbitrary type are believed to be useful, good, even necessary. I could find no evidence Deming […]

Support of Top Management is Not Sufficient

Support of top management is not sufficient. It is not enough that top management comity themselves for life to quality and productivity. They must know what it is that they are committed to — that is, what they must do. These obligations can not be delegated. Support is not enough: action is required. – W. […]

Dr. Deming on Leadership and Management of People

What is a leader? As I use the term here, the job of a leader is to accomplish transformation of his organization. He possesses knowledge; he himself has been transformed. He has personality and persuasive power. How may he accomplish transformation? First he has theory. He understands why the transformation would bring gain to his […]

Improvement is a Learning Process

Improvement of Quality and Productivity, to be successful in any company, must be a learning process, year by year, top management leading the whole company. W. Edwards Deming page 139, Out of the Crisis Understanding the importance of learning is often one sign of the maturity of the improvement effort. As organizations have more success […]

The consumer is the most important point on the production-line

In, New Principles in Administration for Quality and Efficiency (speech by W. Edward Deming in Manila, Philippines, July 2, 1971) Dr. Deming laid out 19 principles. The full list of principles is included in The Essential Deming, page 176-178. Two I find particularly insightful and instructive (especially when you consider this is from 1971). Principle […]

Unknown and Unknowable Data

From Out of the Crisis, page 121: the most important figures that one needs for management are unknown or unknowable (Lloyd S. Nelson, director of statistical methods for the Nashua corporation), but successful management must nevertheless take account of them. We need to manage systems even though we cannot collect data that would be extremely […]

Don’t Limit Improvements to Low Level Process Improvement

One of the mistakes people with a very superficial understanding of Deming make is to believe what Dr. Deming’s publications and seminars focused on process improvement. Deming’s ideas on management focused on creating a management system that changed how the entire organization worked. Deming’s ideas on management were not aimed at improving only the processes […]

People are Part of the Management System

People are part of the system; they need help… Many people think of machinery and data processing when I mention system. Few of them know that recruitment, training, supervision, and aids to production workers are part of the system. – W. Edwards Deming on page 366 of Out of the Crisis It is often difficult […]