Deming 14 points

From CEOpedia | Management online

The US-American William Edwards Deming is considered the father of "Total Quality Management" - TQM. He summarized his recommendations in "14 steps". His recommendations have proven successful in practice in Japan and later in the USA. They are the basis of the Japanese Deming Prize, on whose model the Malcom Badridge National Quality Award, founded by the US Congress, was later based. In Europe, further development has been carried out by the European Foundation for Quality Management, EFQM (Al-Dabal 2001, p.92).

In his work "Out of the Crisis", Deming describes 14 principles that he has identified as success factors for successful corporate transformation (Deming 2018).

Deming sees its 14 points embedded in basic attitudes, without whose fulfillment it does not consider their implementation in practice possible (Deming 2018):

  • Every activity can be seen as a process and can be continuously improved.
  • Problem solutions alone are not enough, fundamental changes are necessary.
  • management must act; it is not enough for it to take responsibility

The 14 points

Deming's 14 steps to quality improvement are (Al-Dabal 2001, p.94-95):

  1. Create an awareness for quality. A new way of thinking is needed, as Japan has shown. Better quality at lower cost is possible if the variation of human performance, material, processes and products is reduced.
  2. Eliminate dependence on full controls. Eliminate the need and dependence on full controls to achieve quality. Sorting operations are the acceptance that the process is not capable of delivering flawless products without exception. Quality cannot be tested, it must be produced.
  3. Don't just go for the cheapest offer. End the practice of placing orders only with the cheapest supplier. Consider the total cost. Seek long-term supplier relationships based on mutual trust and loyalty.
  4. Continually improve the systems. Constantly seek further improvements to the system to improve the quality of products and services, increase productivity and reduce production costs. There are always opportunities to deliver even better performance at even lower cost. There is no optimum. The "Deming Circle" is a classic example.
  5. Create modern training methods. Ensure repetitive training in the workplace. The employee must not only be instructed in how to do his work. He needs to understand the context of his work and the processes in his area (Al-Dabal 2001, p.94).
  6. Care for correct leadership behavior. Provide motivating leadership that helps employees to do a better job. Experience shows that at least 85 percent of all errors are caused by a defective system and not by individual employees. Only the leadership has the possibility to correct errors in the system.
  7. Eliminate fear so that everyone can work effectively for the organization. Fear is a common cause of mistakes. It always arises when individuals feel powerless in the face of others - such as their superiors - or the system, in things that closely affect their lives or work. Deming believes that 94 percent of all mistakes can be attributed to management and only 6 percent to the person making them.
  8. Set positive goals instead of negative criticism. Avoid admonitions. Eliminate slogans, appeals and admonitions. Only the good example of superiors within the framework of a transparent organization creates the conditions for improving quality.
  9. Tear down the walls between the departments. Departments such as purchasing, development, production and sales must work hand in hand to identify problems for production and service at an early stage and to be able to initiate measures.
  10. Emphasize the quality of the services, not the quantity. Renounce quantitative specifications. Eliminate performance targets that arbitrarily define goals to be achieved. Production should not be geared to quantity, but to quality. Every numerical quantity target is a wall against quality and thus also against productivity.
  11. Enable pride in a job well done. Eliminate anything that challenges the right of every worker and manager to be proud of their work.
  12. Promote qualification and further education. Create a thorough training program and an atmosphere of self-improvement for each individual.
  13. Make the continuous improvement of quality and productivity the task of the company management.


Author: Tom Alender