Deming’s 14 Principles for Management

W. Edwards Deming created these 14 principles for management. His work with Ford Motor Company (early 1980's) indicated that 85% of the issues facing the automaker were the result of the corporate culture and ineffective management. Simply stated, management cannot pay lip service to the concept of quality. It's easy to create a slogan, hang a poster. Quality won't improve long term based upon these actions! Anyway, here's Deming's 14 principles for robust top management:

1.) Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of a product and service with a plan to become competitive and stay in business. Decide to whom top management is responsible.(Creates a mission and vision for the organization-sets a direction)


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2.) Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship.(All are prime examples of waste, creating extra burden on your company)


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3.) Cease dependence on mass inspection. Require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built in. (defect prevention rather than defect detection)

4.) End of the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality along with price. Eliminate suppliers that cannot qualify with statistical evidence of quality.(a supplier that offers inexpensive material may be selling you cheap material)

5.) Find Problems. It is a management’s job to work continually on the system (design, incoming materials, composition of material, maintenance, improvement of machines, training, supervision, retraining)


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6.) Institute modern methods of training on the job.(there's no substitute for well trained workers!)

7.) The responsibility of the foreman must be to change from sheer numbers to quality… [which] will automatically improve productivity. Management must prepare to take immediate action on reports from the foremen concerning barriers such as inherent defects, machines not maintained, poor tools, and fuzzy operational definitions.(organizations can't make up for poor yields with additional volume)

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8.) Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.(create the culture where it's expected for employees to ask questions and make suggestions)

9.) Break down barriers between departments. People in research design, sales and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production that may be encountered with various materials and specifications.(no operational discipline operates in a vacuum, teamwork is necessary for true improvement)

10.) Eliminate numerical goals, posters, slogans for the workforce, asking for new levels of productivity without providing methods. (You may get a slight, short term boost in yield or productivity, but it won't last without affecting the process or system in question)

11.) Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas. (500 acceptable units per measure of time is much better than 500 units in that same measure of time)

12.) Remove barriers that stand between the hourly worker and his right of pride of workmanship.

13.) Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining.

14.) Create a structure in top management that will push every day on the above 13pts.

Deming's 14 principles for management is a time-tested and internationally agreed upon theory regarding the synergy between modern management and increases in overall quality.

Learn how to use the Deming Cycle or PDSA


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