How to Improve Your Quality Management System with Deming’s 14 Points

Today, in the modern era of advanced technology you need to implement a couple of competitive strategies to stay at the top market leading position. Dr. William Edwards Deming is well renowned for his contribution to the Japanese industrial revival after WWII. From his expertise in the Statistical Product Quality Administration, he emphasized improving the quality of user end products. It is by implementing his thoughts and teaching that Japan rose to its level of economic prominence in the world.

Quality comes not from inspection, but from improvement of the production process.

-Dr. W. Edwards Deming

His quality management strategies provide a solid path to enhancing productivity and increasing a company’s annual turnover. It is vital to understand the implementation of his 14 principals to improve the efficiency of your business.

To understand the concept, let’s analyze these 14 principals closely.

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in production, and to provide employment.

There is always room for improvement; management must set the direction for the organization, by improving themselves, and helping workers to develop their skills to meet upcoming challenges.

2. Adopt a new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must rise to meet the challenge ahead, must learn their responsibilities, and take on the mantle of leadership for future change.

Senior management must make a commitment to implementing this new way of thinking.

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the mass final inspection stage during a process by building quality into the product in the first place.

Focus on using high-quality raw materials from the beginning; this will limit waste and reduce production costs.

4. End the action of awarding business based on the service or materials’ price tags. Instead, minimize total cost.

Move towards a single supplier for any one item, and build a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust. This will eventually help you to minimize the initial cost of your raw material.

5. Look for process improvements constantly, and forever, to improve quality and productivity, and thus, decrease costs on an ongoing basis.

Never lose focus on improving your product and service.

6. Institute training on the job. A business must train its workforce to meet the challenges of modern manufacturing.

Such training helps employees to be more productive and proficient. It will also assist in enhancing product quality.

7. Institute leadership. Supervision should be initiated only to help people, machines, and gadgets to do a better job. The current approach to management and production worker supervision is in need of an overhaul.

Supervisors need to learn to lead workers rather than bossing them. Help your employees to learn more, get better at their jobs, and increase their job satisfaction. That is leadership.

8. Eradicate fear within the company workplace, so that everyone may work effectively for the business.

Encouraging a tense or fearful environment at work will prevent your employees from fully applying themselves. It will result in slowing down your production process and will also impact on your profit. To avoid these circumstances, driving out fear is essential.

9. Break down barriers between departments. People in all departments from research, design, sales, and manufacturing must work as a team to foresee problems in production and post-production, that may be encountered with the final product or service.

The American management style puts individual and department accomplishment above all else. It makes sense to managers; reward based upon what you can control, from yourself and your staff. This thinking causes massive damage in companies though, as individuals and departments compete. And when goals conflict, everyone will naturally focus on themselves rather than the overall business—especially if there is a bonus involved. Therefore, for the potential growth of your business, all departments must work together to solve problems.

10. Eliminate catchphrases, exhortations, and performance targets for the workforce which ask for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations merely produce adversarial relationships instead of teamwork, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system, and thus, lie beyond the power of the workforce. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor, and management by objective, numbers, and key performance indicators. Instead, substitute leadership.

Abstain from slogans and setting targets for your workforce, these will only increase anxiety among them, and no one will be able to do a good job. In fact, your employees have the capability to go way beyond any numerical targets you set—if the support is in place from the management.

11. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of her right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to overall product or service quality.

To keep hold of their job, a person will do anything to meet their set quota, including subconsciously doing damage to their company. So, always set realistic and measurable goals for them to achieve, and make sure they are understood.

12. Remove barriers that rob people in management and engineering of their right to pride of workmanship; this means abolishing any annual or merit rating and eliminating management by objective.

Almost all employees want to do a good job, and they don’t feel good when they cannot. Misguided supervisors, defective materials, and faulty equipment often stand in the way of good individual performance. Stop trying to blame the workers, they are part of a larger system and control much less of the outcome than you think.

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

Smart employers invest in the education of their workforce. They are always inclined towards training their employees in new techniques and technology for enhanced employee longevity.

14. Instill this philosophy within everybody in the company to accomplish the necessary conversion. It is everyone’s responsibility, from the production workforce, right up to the top.

Push your top management team to carry out the quality mission. Every employee in your business should be involved to accomplish the transformation.


Dr. William Edwards Deming taught these golden rules to achieve the highest level of product quality and performance. You can also improve your Quality Management System by adopting these principles.

For more information visit the Deming Institute

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