W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Quotes in process thinking

I read them. Not to grade them. No, I read them to see how I am doing. Where am I failing? What don’t they understand? Why do they give wrong answers? Why do they have some point of view that I don’t think is right? Where am I failing? Where do I need to build up.


There is no such thing as arrival exactly on time. In fact, exactly on time can not be defined.


A bad system will beat a good person every time.


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


How can she put forth her best efforts when no matter how carefully she works, the item will still be defective? If no one cares, why should she? In contrast, when defects are rare or nonexistent or well explained, she understands that the management are accepting their proper responsibility, and she feels an obligation to put forth her best efforts: they are now effective.


Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.


our system of make-and-inspect, which if applied to making toast would be expressed: “You burn, I’ll scrape.”


Inspection does not improve the quality, nor guarantee quality. Inspection is too late. The quality, good or bad, is already in the product. As Harold F. Dodge said, “You can not inspect quality into a product.”