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Dr Deming's 14 Admonitions for the Achievement of TQM.

Who Was Dr Deming?


Dr W Edwards Deming was an American statistician who was born in 1900 and died in 1993.  He came to prominence during the Second World War when his approach to quality management significantly improved war production.   

Dr Deming was the prime mover behind the spectacular post-war revival of Japanese industry.  Naturally, his philosophy has since been closely studied and adopted by organisations across the world.


He was given an award by former Emperor Hirohito, and the Deming Prize was named after him.  But Dr Deming is mostly remembered for his 14-point plan for the achievement of Total Quality Management (TQM).


Dr Deming's 14 Point Plan.


Deming 1

Create constancy of purpose towards improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business, and to provide jobs.


Management must both run the day-to-day business and guide the company into the future.  Achieving this requires a consistency of purpose and dedication to improvement.  Without these people fear to take action because the rules change.


Deming 2

Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.


Most errors can only be eliminated by management because they are caused by the system rather than by individuals.  Cultural change involves everyone in an organisation.


Deming 3

Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by creating quality into the product in the first place.


Mass inspection controls the product, not the process which produces the product (or service).  It doesn?t prevent faults, but finds them at a point in time when they are expensive to correct.


Western organisations rarely estimate wasted effort correcting faults as lower than 10% of all effort.  Elimination of this waste would have a positive effect on both the balance sheet and staff morale.


Deming 4

Improve the quality of incoming materials. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price alone. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality, along with price.


Many of the problems of poor quality and low productivity are due to the poor quality of incoming materials and the low quality of tools and machines.   Implement the concept of ?total costs? or ?cost of ownership? in order to identify critical factors..


Deming 5

Find the problems; constantly improve the system of production and service.


Improve constantly to raise productivity and reduce costs.


Deming 6

Institute modern methods of training and education for all.


Every worker and every manager needs to be properly trained to perform their job correctly.  It is not good enough for an insufficiently trained employee to educate a newcomer.


Deming 7

Institute leadership. The aim of leadership should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.

There is a fundamental difference between leadership and management.  Leaders coach people to achieve their full potential.  Managers direct people.  Good managers are also leaders.


Deming 8

Drive out fear so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

Fear causes people to behave defensively.  They don?t dare share their observations with management and they are motivated to falsify records in order to protect themselves.  Managers who habitually rule by fear will prevent continuous improvement from happening, unless they are either adequately coached or removed.


Deming 9

Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.

Processes are what drives production of products or delivery of services.  Processes go across departmental boundaries.  Management of the process is central to success, but can be rendered useless by performance targets applied to individual departments.


Deming 10

Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force that ask for zero defects and new levels of productivity.

The bulk of problems relating to poor quality or low productivity lie in the process.  The workforce cannot overcome these by themselves, no matter how much encouragement is applied.  The management need to be seen to be taking responsibility for correcting problems with the process.


Deming 11

Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.

Human beings behave in whatever way their targets lead them.  Quotas without quality standards can be counter-productive.  For instance, managers can achieve their production bonuses by shipping out incomplete or untested items.  It then costs money for the organisation to correct these faults.


Before the collapse of the Soviet system it was common for steel producers in Eastern Europe to manufacture large objects, despite the urgent need for small tacks for the furniture industry.  The reason was simply that the steel producers were given tonnage targets in each 5-year plan, and the most effective way to meet these targets was to produce large objects.


Deming 12

Remove the barriers that rob hourly workers, and people in management, of their right to pride of workmanship. This implies, abolition of the annual merit rating (appraisal of performance) and of management by objective.


The targets given to managers and supervisors need to be changed from bald numbers to quality.  Feedback to staff needs to be more regular, if not continuous. 


Deming 13

Institute a vigorous programme of education, and encourage self-improvement for everyone.


Organisations need people who are not just good, but are improving with education.  If two organisations are superficially similar then the one with the competitive advantage is the one with the best educated staff.


Deming 14

Top management's permanent commitment to ever-improving quality and productivity must be clearly defined and a management structure created that will continuously take action to follow the preceding 13 points.


Top management needs to take action, and be seen to take action.  Total Quality Management requires effort from everyone in the organisation, not just the workforce and not just the quality department.  

Dr Deming also wrote his 7 Deadly Diseases of Management


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