Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

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 were taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management.


numerical goals set for other people, without a road map to reach the goal, have effects opposite to the effects sought.


Fear invites wrong figures. Bearers of bad news fare badly. To keep his job, anyone may present to his boss only good news.


“We installed quality control.” No. You can install a new desk, or a new carpet, or a new dean, but not quality control. Anyone that proposes to “install quality control” unfortunately has little knowledge about quality control.


Defects are not free. Somebody makes them, and gets paid for making them.


You can learn a lot about ice and still not understand water.


A good question for anybody in business to ask is What business are we in? To do well what we are doing-i.e., to turn out a good product, or good service, whatever it be? Yes, of course, but this is not enough. We must keep asking - What product or service would help our customers more? We must think about the future. What will we be making 5 years from now? 10 years from now?


management by numerical goal is an attempt to manage without knowledge of what to do, and in fact is usually management by fear.


Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.


A leader is a coach, not a judge.