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Articles & Press Releases > Article 103

W. Edwards Deming's "14 Points"

W. Edwards Deming was a quality guru and brilliant change leader. He helped to foster a change in our response to the words "made in Japan" from what it meant in the '50's and '60's ("junk") to what it started to mean in the late '70's and beyond ("high quality electronics, cars, etc."). The transformation took place when several Japanese industries adopted Deming's quality methods into their products and ways of doing business.

In this article, we'll briefly look at Deming's methods, which he called the "Fourteen Points".

1.  Create constancy of purpose toward the improvement of product and service. 

The idea is to become competitive,stay in business, and provide jobs through innovation, R&D, and constant improvement.

2.  Adopt the new philosophy. 

We are in a new economic age. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, defective workmanship, and negativism.

3.  Cease dependence on mass inspection.  

Instead, require statistical evidence that quality is 'built in' to eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis.

4.  End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone.

Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality, along with price. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.

5.  Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.

6.  Institute training.  

Too many workers learn their job from another worker who was not properly trained. Other times, "training" includes a set of confusing instructions.

7.  Institute leadership.  

Leadership is about helping people do a better job, not about telling people what to do or punishing them.

8.  Drive out fear.  

When people are afraid to ask questions or to take a stand on an issue, they can misunderstand the job, continue to do things the wrong way, or not do the job at all. Companies experience economic loss when employees are fearful.

9.  Break down barriers between staff areas.  

Departments that compete with one another keep the business from being effective and productive.

10.  Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce.  

Eliminate arbitrary numerical goals, posters, and slogans for the workforce which seek new levels of productivity without providing methods.

11.  Eliminate numerical quotas.  

Replace management-by-numbers with never-ending-improvement.

12.  Remove barriers to pride of workmanship.  

Most people want to do a good job. Sometimes, misguided supervisors, broken equipment, and/or defective materials stand in employees' way.

13.  Institute a vigorous program of education and re-training. 

All employees, including management, need to be re-educated in new methods.

14.  Take action to accomplish the transformation. 

Create a system that will carry out the prior 13 points every day.


Check this website's Articles page for more articles that look in-depth at a few of Deming's points in more detail.


©2012 Borgeson Consulting, Inc.

Glory Borgeson, President
2011 Borgeson Consulting, Inc.

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