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Deming’s 14 Points For Management

John Nelligan


Many in the management and operations world will have come across the work of Dr W. Edward Deming and his 14 point philosophy for management and quality. His points apply to any type and size of business. Service companies need to control quality just as much as manufacturing companies. His philosophy applies equally to the single-person entity, the micro entity, the large multinational corporations, or the different divisions or departments within a company.
Have a look at a summary of the points and see if they can help your business to stabilise and grow whilst ensuring that all in your organisation understand your values and core principles.

  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business, and provide jobs.
  2. Adopt a new philosophy of cooperation in which everybody (employees, customers and suppliers) wins and embrace quality throughout the organisation
  3. Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality. Instead build quality into the product from start to finish.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimise total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, based on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust. Use quality statistics to ensure that suppliers meet your quality standards.
  5. Improve constantly, and forever, the system of production, service, planning, of any activity. This will improve quality and productivity and thus constantly decrease costs.
  6. Institute training for skills. Train for consistency, build a foundation of common and shared knowledge, roles and responsibilities and teamwork for effective results.
  7. Adopt and implement leadership for the management of people, recognising their different abilities, capabilities, and aspiration. The aim of leadership should be to help people, machines, and gadgets do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.
  8. Eliminate fear and build trust so that everyone can work more effectively. Use open methods of communication with all employees to foster exchange of ideas and dispel misconceptions.
  9. Break down barriers between departments. Institutionalise the concept of ‘interna; customers. Each department’s output or function serves other departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and use that might be encountered with the product or service.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets asking for zero defects or new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
  11. Eliminate numerical goals and management by objectives. Substitute leadership. Measure the process rather then the people.
  12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. This will mean abolishing the annual rating or merit system that ranks people and creates competition and conflict. Avoid making the workforce compete with one another for monetary or other rewards.
  13. Implement education and self-improvement. Improve current skillsets of employees and encourage new skills to meet future challenges.
  14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.