Deming’s Principles of Total Quality Management
— distilled from his works and 14 points by A. Mead MD —
Clarify your Concept
Define your mission/vision/goal — aim for constant improvement in the product or
service you offer your clients. You cannot do this without maintaining a high level
of motivation and satisfaction in the people that comprise your organization —
consider that an aspect of your goal.
Realize your Concept
With clear vision and energetic motivation, make your concept a matter of daily
have a long term, not short term profit orientation.
find, understand (the causes), and root out the 4 detriments (fear, jealousy,
eliminate practices that undermine workers’ self / mutual respect and
motivation (production quotas, sloganeering, sexist / racist expressions,
favoritism / nepotism).
foster all chances for pride of workmanship and sharing in the improvement
System & Process Management the Core of TQM Practice
Study and understand in ever greater depth the process of production or service
that you are delivering. Deming’s 85/15 rule: 85% of a worker’s effectiveness is
determined by the system he works within, only 15% by his own skill. To break
down your system into meaningful blocks for analysis, consider your “internal
customers” of processes.
Look at inputs from suppliers — when you understand the importance of
quality and timeliness in your inputs, you will stop buying on low-bid only.
Quantitative analysis of process — use Statistical Process Control, monitoring
of critical variables, charting. Monitor before and after changes. Use
Plan/Do/Check/Act cycle repeatedly.
Monitor “outputs” throughout — when doing this, you can cease or
de-emphasize end-point inspections. Refine the entire process; make
Before hiring — rigorous pre-employment screening.
Before working — rigorous pre-work training.
Retrain on the job.
Management must constantly learn from entire team as well as clients and
Teams and Leaders
All levels of the organization must be involved, starting with full commitment at the
top. Eliminate organizational and physical barriers to teamwork. Eliminate
performance ratings. Emphasize stability and constancy of effort — steady small
gains rather than disruptive crash programs. Avoid unsettling changes without
involving whole team. Involve suppliers, help them with Quality management.
Involve your clients, get their feedback and ideas. Send your staff to both
(suppliers and clients) to learn.
Reap the Rewards
Spread profits to workers as a team (but eliminate merit pay for short term
performance). Enlist pride of workers in improving the system; empower people
to take charge of work environment, safety issues, etc. Encourage pride of
workmanship in delivering the product. Finally: spread what you have learned to
Why this distillation? I.e. What’s wrong with the 14 points as is?
Main Deming-related Web Sites:
Yahoo’s Management Science/Deming section has links to the principal
CQI Server pages, at the Department of Industrial Engineering, Clemson
University, link to many Quality Management resources.
MIT’s Deming pages link to a biography of Deming, his main writings, and
many related resources.
The W.E. Deming Institute provides a plethora of information on Mr. Deming
and his teachings.
Quality Resources on the Internet page has large collection of links to quality