Cleaning out some old files, I found this page ripped out of “Electronic Business” from October 15, 1990. The sidebar is “Deming’s 14 Points for Quality.” I got deep into the study of W. Edwards Deming in the early 80s when I had a quality assurance manager position in a manufacturing plant.

If you don’t remember Deming, he was rudely ignored in the United States for his ideas, so he went to Japan and became something of a god of manufacturing at the birth of the Japanese manufacturing renaissance.

His points are at least as valid today (and as little practiced) as they were in 1990.

1. Constantly improve product and service to become competitive, provide jobs and stay in business
2. Adopt a new philosophy. Western management must awaken to the challenge, learn its responsibilities and take on leadership for change
3. Cease inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for mass inspection by building quality into the product in the first place
4. End the practice of awarding business based on price. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, building a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust
5. Improve constantly the system of production and service to improve quality and productivity and thus decrease costs
6. Institute training on the job
7. Institute leadership to help people and machines do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers
8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company
9. Break down bariers between departments. People in research, design, sales and production must work as a team to foresee production problems as well as potential problems in use of a product or service
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the work force, asking for zero defects and new levles of productivity
11. A. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor, and substitute leadership
B. Eliminate management by objectives, numbers and numerical goals, and substitute leadership
12. A. Remove barriers that rob hourly workers of their right to pride in workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality
B. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means abolishment of the annual or the merit rating and of management by objectives or by numbers
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement
14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation

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