W. Edwards Deming

William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 - December 20, 1993) was an American statistician, college professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. Deming is widely credited with improving production in the United States during World War II, although he is perhaps best known for his work in Japan. There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing and sales (the latter through global markets).[1] Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's becoming renowned for producing innovative high-quality products. Deming is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage.

Deming was born in Sioux City, Iowa. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from University of Wyoming at Laramie (1921), an M.S. from the University of Colorado (1925), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1928). Both graduate degrees were in mathematics and physics. Deming worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories, later in Japan, then as a professor at New York University, and finally as an independent consultant in Washington, D.C.

Deming was the author of Out of the Crisis (1982-1986) and The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (1993), which includes his System of Profound Knowledge™ and the 14 Points for Management (described below). Deming played flute & drums and composed music throughout his life, including sacred choral compositions and arrangements of The Star Spangled Banner.

In 1993, Deming founded the W. Edwards Deming Institute in Washington, D.C., where the Deming Collection at the US Library of Congress includes an extensive audiotape and videotape archive. The aim of the W. Edwards Deming Institute is to foster understanding of The Deming System of Profound Knowledge™ to advance commerce, prosperity and peace.

Deming offered fourteen key principles for management for transforming business effectiveness. In summary:

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

2. Adopt a new philosophy of cooperation (win-win) in which everybody wins and put it into practice by teaching it to employees, customers and suppliers.

3. Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality. Instead, improve the process and build quality into the product in the first place.

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Instead, minimize total cost in the long run. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, based on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.

5. Improve constantly, and forever, the system of production, service, planning, of any activity. This will improve quality and productivity and thus constantly decrease costs.

6. Institute training for skills.

7. Adopt and institute leadership for the management of people, recognizing their different abilities, capabilities, and aspiration. The aim of leadership should be to help people, machines, and gadgets do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.

8. Drive out fear and build trust so that everyone can work more effectively.

9. Break down barriers between departments. Abolish competition and build a win-win system of cooperation within the organization. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and use that might be encountered with the product or service.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets asking for zero defects or new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as 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 numerical goals, numerical quotas and management by objectives. Substitute leadership.

12. Remove barriers that rob people of joy in their work. This will mean abolishing the annual rating or merit system that ranks people and creates competition and conflict.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.

The Seven Deadly Diseases:

1. Lack of constancy of purpose.

2. Emphasis on short-term profits.

3. Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance.

4. Mobility of management.

5. Running a company on visible figures alone.

6. Excessive medical costs.

7. Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees.

A Lesser Category of Obstacles:

1. Neglect of long-range planning.

2. Relying on technology to solve problems.

3. Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions.

4. Excuses such as "Our problems are different".