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 Wisdom to Win
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W. Edwards Deming (1900-93) and Joseph Juran (1904-2008)W Edwards Deming


Deming (pictured right) and Juran taught the Japanese about quality improvement in the 1950’s.



Deming’s key book


Out of the Crisis (1982)

(see for more detail Out of the Crisis in the Business Books section)


Transforming an organization’s quality and competitiveness requires understanding and applying 14 points:


1. Customer driven purpose

Constantly striving to satisfy present and future customers’ needs.


2. People philosophy

The organization must value its employees and their need for job satisfaction and self-fulfilment.


3. Production process

Replace inspection by incorporating quality into the production process

This is helped by self-managing work groups responsible for quality improvement – “QC [quality control] circles” (now known as quality circles).


4. Cost minimization

But create a long-term relationship with a single supplier for any one item, and don’t give business on price alone.


5. Continuous improvement

Constantly improve quality, productivity and the production or customer service system.


6. Training

Encourage training on the job.


7. Leadership 

Leaders should give their long-term commitment to quality and continually help people and their machinery do a better job through:

  • coaching.
  • creating job satisfaction.
  • removing the causes of failure.
  • ensuring consistency of performance.


8. Drive out fear 

(in the hearts of employees).


9. Teamwork 

Break down barriers between departments, so that people work as a team

So teams (not individuals) must be rewarded for good performance .


10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and employee targets (like zero defects)

Because most causes of poor quality are in the production system and not in employees’ control.


11. Avoid numerical goals for managers and employees

Replace them with effective leadership.


12. Pride of workmanship

Emphasizing the quality and fulfilment of work.


13. Education

Vigorously supporting:

  • education (e.g. in statistical quality control methods).
  • self-improvement.


14. Quality is everybody’s job

Every employee must work to achieve it, not just the quality control department.

The Shewhart cycle (now sometimes called the Deming cycle) is useful here:

  • plan, then...
  • act, then...
  • observe and finally...
  • evaluate.


Key quotes on quality

Inspection is too late.

Top management should publish a resolution that no one will lose his job for contribution to quality and productivity.


Key quotes on customers and production

The customer is the most important part of the production line.

Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your product or service, and that bring friends with them.

W Edwards Deming

Juran’s (pictured right)  key book


Juran on Planning for Quality (1988)


The best quality requires the “Juran Trilogy”:


1. Quality planning 

Setting objectives and strategies.


2. Quality control 

Comparing quality objectives with actual results.


3. Quality improvement (from empowerment)

Empowerment (giving employees responsibility for quality) is achieved through:

  • empathetic management.
  • humane treatment.
  • training.
  • involvement in decisions about quality (particularly in teams).


Key quote on quality

Fitness for use (Juran’s definition of quality).

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