Deming’s 14 Points for Management

Dr. Deming included the 14 points for management in Out of the Crisis. The 14 points provide some specific obligations that managers adopting a Deming management system must follow. Over time Dr. Deming realized these points were not as effective at communicating his management system and he favored using the system of profound knowledge (SoPK) to frame that system of management.

The 14 points are practices that should be followed. Dr. Deming continued to edit and clarify the 14 points in his seminars and writing. However the list format didn’t emphasize the importance of a management system. The book actually has quite a bit of detail that helps expand upon the meaning of the 14 points; but so often people are presented with the 14 points without any of the context Deming provided. Without the additional information the 14 points are not nearly as useful as when the context he put them in is studied.

Each of the 14 points can be reasoned from an understanding of the 4 areas of the SoPK: appreciation for a system, understanding variation, theory of knowledge and psychology.

This list is from Out of the Crisis, pages 23-24:

  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Institute leadership (see point 12 and Chapter 8 in Out of the Crisis). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
  8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company (see Chapter 3).
  9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
  11. a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
    b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
  12. a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
    b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective (see chapter 3).
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

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9 Responses

  1. May 29, 2013

    […] made an interesting point about how quite a few of the points from Deming’s 14 points and diseases from the 7 deadly diseases can be seen as eliminating an “enumerative […]

  2. November 13, 2013

    […] what the organization provides to customers that provides direction to the organization (point 1 of Deming’s 14 points – Create constancy of purpose). This aim guides the organization and is adjusted over the years and decades as the marketplace […]

  3. May 18, 2015

    Even today many organizations treat suppliers as adversaries to beat at the negotiating table. Dr. Deming explained that the organization was a system that included the suppliers and customers. You need to manage and continually improve that entire system…

  4. June 9, 2015

    […] Dr. Deming’s 14 points for management have been put into various specific contexts by people over the years. Dr. Paul Batalden and Dr. Loren Vorlicky of the Health Services Research Center translated them into a health care context. Dr. Deming included their work in Out of Crisis, pages 201-202: […]

  5. September 21, 2015

    […] Edwards Deming, Point 1 or the 14 points for management, page 23 of Out of the […]

  6. March 3, 2016

    […] Point 7 in Dr. Deming’s 14 obligations of management: […]

  7. April 7, 2016

    […] Point 10 on W. Edwards Deming’s list of 14 points for western management: […]

  8. August 29, 2016

    […] of W. Edwards Deming’s 14 obligations of management have opponents that argue the reverse is wise. Some believe it is good to “motivate” […]

  9. December 9, 2018

    […] It's ironic that my book that builds on principles and methods from W. Edwards Deming had a series of events that reminded me of Point #4 in his Fourteen Points: […]

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