Sourced Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

By John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog.

Dr. Deming was very quotable. There are a great number of wonderful quotes. They capture ideas well and are powerful.

Without context though quotes can be mis-interpreted. And without context they lose much of the power they have when understood within the management system Dr. Deming had in mind.

I have been working on compiling a sourced list of quotes. While this process is far from complete I think it has reached a point where there is value in making it available online. So you may now view our collection of quotes by W. Edwards Deming.

photo of Dr. W. Edwards Deming from the 1950s.
Photo of Dr. W. Edwards Deming from the 1950s.

The collection includes pages for quotes from The New Economics and Out of the Crisis and also includes a large collection of attributed quotes.

Many of these attributed quotes are from the 4 day seminars, other seminars, consulting visits with companies and videos. Members of The W. Edwards Deming institute board, and others who were consulted, worked with Dr. Deming at the seminars and consulting visits. There are also contemporaneous notes from seminars that were used to confirm quotes. I also include links to passages in books (or videos) where Dr. Deming covers the same ideas using slightly different words.

In my opinion those links provide evidence that the quote is reasonable to attribute to Dr. Deming and the links also provide context in which to understand what he meant.

There are also quotes often passed on as by Dr. Deming when really he quoted someone else in one of his books. When he did so, he made it clear who deserved credit for the quote but that is often lost in what people share. We are providing the proper attribution for quotes Dr. Deming attributed to others.

Related: Deming Library Video with Dr. Deming Discussing the 14 PointsProfit and growth come from customers that boast about your products and servicesArticles by W. Edwards DemingBlog post number one for The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

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