W. E. Deming’s 14 Key Principles
1. Constancy of purpose: Create constancy of purpose for continual improvement
of products and service to society, allocating resources to provide for long range
needs rather than only short term profitability, with a plan to become competitive,
to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
2. The new philosophy: Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age,
created in Japan. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays,
mistakes, defective materials and defective workmanship. Transformation of
Western management style is necessary to halt the continued decline of business
3. Cease dependence on mass inspection: Eliminate the need for mass inspection
as the way of life to achieve quality by building quality into the product in the first
place. Require statistical evidence of built in quality in both manufacturing and
4. End lowest tender contracts: End the practice of awarding business solely on the
basis of price tag. Instead require meaningful measures of quality along with price.
Reduce the number of suppliers for the same item by eliminating those that do not
qualify with statistical and other evidence of quality. The aim is to minimize total
cost, not merely initial cost, by minimizing variation. This may be achieved by
moving toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long term relationship of
loyalty and trust. Purchasing managers have a new job, and must learn it.
5. Improve every process: Improve constantly and forever every process for
planning, production, and service. Search continually for problems in order to
improve every activity in the company, to improve quality and productivity, and
thus to constantly decrease costs. Institute innovation and constant improvement
of product, service, and process. It is management's job to work continually on the
system (design, incoming materials, maintenance, improvement of machines,
supervision, training, retraining).
6. Institute training on the job: Institute modern methods of training on the job for
all, including management, to make better use of every employee. New skills are
required to keep up with changes in materials, methods, product and service
design, machinery, techniques, and service.
7. Institute leadership: The aim of supervision should be to help people and
machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of
overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
8. Drive out fear: Encourage effective two-way communication and other means to
drive out fear throughout the organization so that everybody may work effectively
and more productively for the company.
9. Break down barriers: Break down barriers between departments and staff areas.
People in different areas, such as Leasing, Maintenance, Administration, must
work in teams to tackle problems that may be encountered with products or
10. Eliminate exhortations: Eliminate the use of slogans, posters and exhortations
for the work force, demanding Zero Defects and new levels of productivity,
without providing methods. Such exhortations only create adversarial
relationships; the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to
the system, and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
11. Eliminate arbitrary numerical targets: Eliminate work standards that prescribe
quotas for the work force and numerical goals for people in management.
Substitute aids and helpful leadership in order to achieve continual improvement
of quality and productivity.
12. Permit pride of workmanship: Remove the barriers that rob hourly workers, and
people in management, of their right to pride of workmanship. This implies,
among other things, abolition of the annual merit rating (appraisal of performance)
and of Management by Objective. Again, the responsibility of managers,
supervisors, foremen must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
13. Encourage education: Institute a vigorous program of education, and encourage
self improvement for everyone. What an organization needs is not just good
people; it needs people that are improving with education. Advances in
competitive position will have their roots in knowledge.
14. Top management commitment and action: Clearly define top management's
permanent commitment to ever improving quality and productivity, and their
obligation to implement all of these principles. Indeed, it is not enough that top
management commit themselves for life to quality and productivity. They must
know what it is that they are committed to-that is, what they must do. Create a
structure in top management that will push every day on the preceding 13 Points,
and take action in order to accomplish the transformation. Support is not enough:
action is required!