W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes in management

No one can measure the loss of business that may arise from a defective item that goes out to a customer.


It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.


The aim proposed here for any organization is for everybody to gain - stockholders, employees, suppliers, customers, community, the environment - over the long term.


Export anything to a friendly country except American management.


A common disease that afflicts management and government administration the world over is the impression that “Our problems are different.” They are different, to be sure, but the principles that will help to improve quality of product and of service are universal in nature.


Data are not taken for museum purposes; they are taken as a basis for doing something. If nothing is to be done with the data, then there is no use in collecting any. The ultimate purpose of taking data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation for action. The step intermediate between the collection of data and the action is prediction.


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.


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


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