Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

An operational definition is a procedure agreed upon for translation of concept into measurement of some kind.


Inspection does not improve the quality, nor guarantee quality. Inspection is too late. The quality, good or bad, is already in the product. As Harold F. Dodge said, “You can not inspect quality into a product.”


The greatest waste in America is failure to use the abilities of people.


Money and time spent for training will be ineffective unless inhibitors to good work are removed.


The transformation can only be accomplished by man, not by hardware (computers, gadgets, automation, new machinery). A company can not buy its way into quality.


The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good.

The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise.


It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.


Best efforts are essential. Unfortunately, best efforts, people charging this way and that way without guidance of principles, can do a lot of damage.


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.


American management thinks that they can just copy from Japan—but they don’t know what to copy!