W E Deming



Deming’s main interest was in the application of statistical techniques. He was greatly influenced by the teachings of Walter Shewart. Deming stressed that the efficient use of statistical techniques ensures positive competitiveness in the market place and the obtainment of the desired returns. Deming strongly believes that quality improvement has to be management led.


Contribution of Deming:

  • He was the first Western scientist to be invited by the Japanese to give a series of seminars to workers and managers on the use of control charts and statistical techniques for the control of quality.

  • He was invited to the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) in 1950 where he encouraged the Japanese to use statistical techniques to focus on problems of variability and their causes.

  • He also encouraged them to go beyond the utilization of statistics and strive for continuous improvement by using what has been referred to as the 'Deming Cycle' (Plan, Do, Check, Action (PDCA)).

  • Deming convinced Japanese managers that the purpose of using quality management techniques is to help companies stay in business.


Deming’s 14 principles:

1. Create consistency of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and thus to stay in business, and to provide jobs.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. We no longer need to live with commonly accepted delays, mistakes, defective materials and defective workmanship.’

3. Ceasedependence on mass inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass bash 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 modern methods of training and education on the job, including management.

7. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job.

8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

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 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.

12.         (a) Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of the right to pride of workmanship.

              (b) Remove barriers that rob people in management on in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship.

13.   Institute a vigorous programme of education and self-development.

14.   Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

The deadly diseases:

  • Lack of consistency
  • Short term profits:
  • Performance appraisal
  • Job-hopping
  • Use of only visible figures