W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

Experience teaches nothing without theory.


People are entitled to joy in work.


Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.


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. Everyone propels himself forward, or tries to, for his own good, on his own life preserver. The organization is the loser.

The merit rating rewards people that conform to the system. It does not reward attempts to improve the system. Don’t rock the boat.


I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this:
94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management)
6% special


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.


New product and new types of service are generated, not by asking the consumer, but by knowledge, imagination, innovation, risk, trial and error on the part of the producer, backed by enough capital to develop the product or service and to stay in business during the lean months of introduction.


the aim of leadership should be to improve the performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to increase output, and simultaneously to bring pride of workmanship to people. Put in a negative way, the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.


In God we trust, all others must bring data.


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


Quotes by W. Edwards Deming that W. Edwards Deming referenced.