W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes by W. Edwards Deming

It is extension of application that discloses inadequacy of a theory, and need for revision, or even new theory. Again, without theory, there is nothing to revise. Without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence without theory, there is no learning.


The basic problem anywhere is quality. What is quality? A product or service possesses quality if it helps someone and enjoys a sustainable market. Trade depends on quality.


Support of top management is not sufficient. It is not enough that top management commit themselves for life to quality and productivity. They must know what it is that they are committed to — that is, what they must do. These obligations can not be delegated. Support is not enough: action is required.


There are four prongs of quality and four ways to improve quality of product and service:

- Innovation in product and service
- Innovation in process
- Improvement of existing product and service
- Improvement of existing process

The common mistake is the supposition that quality is ensured by No. 4, improvement of process, that operations going off without blemish on the factory floor, in the bank, in the hotel will ensure quality. Good operations are essential, yet they do not ensure quality. Quality is made in the boardroom.

A bank that failed last week may have had excellent operations— speed at the tellers’ windows with few mistakes; few mistakes in bank statements; likewise in the calculation of interest and of penalties and loans. The cause of failure at the bank was bad management, not operations.


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