Deming Quotes

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A bad system will beat a good person every time.

[The System of Profound Knowledge] provides a map of theory by which to understand the organizations that we work in.

[T]he prime purpose in carrying out a survey or experiment is to find answers to certain questions in order to provide a basis for rational prediction, usually in order that action may be taken on the sources of the data.

[Personal] goals are necessary for you and for me, but numerical goals set for other people, without a road map to reach the goal, have effects opposite to the effects sought.

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

[If you] have work standards, productivity goes down and quality [goes down]. Work standards don’t help anybody – what do they do to you? It doubles your cost.

[G]ood quality and the right uniformity have no meaning except with reference to the consumer’s demands.

[A] dissatisfied customer does not complain: he just switches.

[A leader] is coach and counsel, not a judge.

The requirement of reliability. Rational planning and action in meeting both business and governmental problems require the collecting of current information. This need for information is often met by the use of surveys. A properly designed survey provides the desired information with known and calculable reliability, and does so within the limitations of time and cost and whatever other restrictions are imposed.

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