W. Edwards Deming Quotes

Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better.

In God we trust; all others bring data.


Put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins, no contest.

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.

Quality comes not from inspection, but from improvement of the production process.

Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.

The greatest waste … is failure to use the abilities of people…to learn about their frustrations and about the contributions that they are eager to make.

Improve quality, you automatically improve productivity.

It’s not enough to do your best; you must know what to do & then do your best.

Innovation comes from people who take joy in their work.

The ultimate purpose of collecting the data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation.

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

Inspection with the aim of finding the bad ones and throwing them out is too late, ineffective, and costly. Quality comes not from inspection but from improvement of the process.

Manage the cause, not the result.

Each system is perfectly designed to give you exactly what you are getting today.

We are here to learn, to make a difference and to have fun.

…a person and an organization must have goals, take actions to achieve those goals, gather evidence of achievement, study and reflect on the data and from that take actions again. Thus, they are in a continuous feedback spiral toward continuous improvement. This is what ‘Kaizan’ means.

Just because you can measure everything doesn’t mean that you should.

Management by results – like driving a car by looking in rear view mirror.

If you wait for people to come to you, you’ll only get small problems. You must go and find them. The big problems are where people don’t realize they have one in the first place.

The most valuable “currency” of any organization is the initiative and creativity of its members. Every leader has the solemn moral responsibility to develop these to the maximum in all his people. This is the leader’s highest priority.

Don’t expect smart people to listen to you without proof.

Quality is everyone’s responsibility.

Nobody goes to work to do a bad job.

Quality starts in the boardroom.