Dr. W. Edwards Deming offered 14 key principles for management to follow to significantly improve the effectiveness of a business or organization. Many of the principles are philosophical. Others are more programmatic. All are transformative in nature. The principles (points) were first presented in his book Out of the Crisis.
As noted by Dr. Deming in The New Economics, "My 14 Points for Management follow naturally as application of the System of Profound Knowledge for transformation from the present style of management to one of optimization."
Below is the condensation of the 14 Points for Management as they appeared in the book, with hyperlinks to related blogs, podcasts, videos, and articles featured elsewhere on our website as well as YouTube channel. As you review the 14 Points, for the first time or tenth time, we invite you explore the links to enhance your appreciation of Dr. Deming’s theory of management.
As noted in John Hunter’s blog post: "The 14 points are practices that should be followed. Dr. Deming continued to edit and clarify the 14 points in his seminars and writing. However, the list format didn’t emphasize the importance of a management system. The book actually has quite a bit of detail that helps expand upon the meaning of the 14 Points; but so often people are presented with the 14 points without any of the context Deming provided. Without the additional information, the 14 Points are not nearly as useful as when the context he put them in is studied.”
1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
7. Institute leadership (see Point 12 and Ch. 8). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company (see Ch. 3).
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, exhortations, 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.
- Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
- Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
11. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
12. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective (see Ch. 3).
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.