W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes in business

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


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.


A company could put a top man at every position and be swallowed by a competitor with people only half as good, but who are working together.


Top management should publish a resolution that no one will lose his job for contribution to quality and productivity.


he that would run his company on visible figures alone will in time have neither company nor figures.


This may be the world's most underdeveloped nation. We're number 1.


A good question for anybody in business to ask is What business are we in? To do well what we are doing-i.e., to turn out a good product, or good service, whatever it be? Yes, of course, but this is not enough. We must keep asking - What product or service would help our customers more? We must think about the future. What will we be making 5 years from now? 10 years from now?


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.