Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

How can she put forth her best efforts when no matter how carefully she works, the item will still be defective? If no one cares, why should she? In contrast, when defects are rare or nonexistent or well explained, she understands that the management are accepting their proper responsibility, and she feels an obligation to put forth her best efforts: they are now effective.


When one understands who depends on me, then I may take joy in my work.


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.


There is no substitute for knowledge.


The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge.The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people. Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to.


he that would run his company on visible figures alone will in time have neither company nor figures.


To manage one must lead. To lead, one must understand the work that he and his people are responsible for.


There is no such thing as arrival exactly on time. In fact, exactly on time can not be defined.


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.


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