Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

Quality is made in the board room. A worker can deliver lower quality, but she cannot deliver quality better than the system allows.


It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.


The merit rating nourishes short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes teamwork, [and] nourishes rivalry and politics. It leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected, feeling inferior, some even depressed, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior. It is unfair, as it ascribes to the people in a group differences that may be caused totally by the system that they work in.


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


No defects, no jobs. Absence of defects does not necessarily build business… Something more is required.


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.


It is extension of application that discloses inadequacy of a theory, and need for revision, or even new theory. Again, without theory, there is nothing to revise. Without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence without theory, there is no learning.


This may be the world's most underdeveloped nation. We're number 1.


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


Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.