W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

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.


It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.


Best efforts are essential. Unfortunately, best efforts, people charging this way and that way without guidance of principles, can do a lot of damage.


The moral is that it is necessary to innovate, to predict needs of the customer, give him more. He that innovates and is lucky will take the market.


Information is not knowledge.


We cannot rely on mass inspection to improve quality, though there are times when 100 percent inspection is necessary. As Harold S. Dodge said many years ago, ‘You cannot inspect quality into a product.’ The quality is there or it isn’t by the time it’s inspected.


American management thinks that they can just copy from Japan—but they don’t know what to copy!


Experience teaches nothing. In fact there is no experience to record without theory… Without theory there is no learning… And that is their downfall. People copy examples and then they wonder what is the trouble. They look at examples and without theory they learn nothing.


the system that people work in and the interaction with people may account for 90 or 95 percent of performance.


Deming’s First Theorem: “Nobody gives a hoot about profits.”
Deming’s Second Theorem: “We are being ruined by best efforts.”


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