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No section on Dr Deming is complete without reference to his famous fourteen points of quality (the comments in brackets are our notes and not direct quotations of Deming):

1. Create consistency of purpose toward improvement of product and service.

2. Adopt the new philosophy (management has to learn its responsibilities and to take leadership. It is difficult for management to accept that 90 per cent of problems lie with management and the process).

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality (supervision and supervisors’ wages do not add value, they are an extra cost; far better if staff take responsibility and supervise themselves. Deming also added that if quality is built into the design or process, then inspection will not be necessary).

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of the price tag (the cheaper the price, the higher the number of failures. Move to dedicated suppliers, and value reliability, delivery on time and quality).

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service (this is an extension of the Japanese philosophy of kaizen, whereby not a day should go by without some incremental improvement within the organization).

6. Institute training on the job (become a learning organization with a willingness to share knowledge).

7. Institute leadership (everyone at all levels, especially supervisors, should be team leaders and not disciplinarians. Everyone should be encouraged to develop self-leadership. Quality is too important to be left to management).

8. Drive out fear (encourage people to admit mistakes; the aim is to fix not to punish. However it is expected that people won’t go on making the same mistakes!)

9. Break down barriers between departments (eliminate suspicion between departments. There needs to be clear objectives, with everyone striving to work for the common good).

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce (there is no use asking for zero defects if the process or the product design is not perfect; 10 per cent across-the-board cost reduction demands are poor for morale if they are not possible).

11. Eliminate work standards – quotas – on the factory floor (e.g. 100 pieces per hour with a bonus for a 110 will result in 110 pieces, but not necessarily in quality products. The focus will be on output numbers rather than quality. If the worker is encouraged to consider quality, 95 high-quality pieces per hour will be worth more than 110 if 15 (of the 110) are subsequently rejected or returned by the customer).

12. (a) Remove barriers that rob the worker of the right to pride of workmanship (give them the right tools, right materials, right processes and comfortable working conditions; treat them with respect).

(b) Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride in craftsmanship   (this includes appraisal systems that reward on bottom-line results and keeping expense budgets down, and ignore customer satisfaction. If cost is the only driver, then training, maintenance and customer service etc. will suffer).

13. Institute a programme of education and self-improvement (encourage staff to seek higher educational qualifications; become a knowledge based organization).

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation (change of culture is difficult to achieve. Dr Deming saw that everyone has to be involved in transforming the culture of an organization).

Deming believed that adoption of, and action on, the fourteen points was a signal that management intended to stay in business.

However, despite their inherent sense, some of the 14 points are controversial. Some like Point 10 ‘Eliminate Slogans’, certainly contradict the views of other Quality Gurus discussed in this document. In general, the 14 Points are often regarded as very important but not as in themselves providing tools. There is a tendency to look to other Gurus for tools.

Excerpted from the ‘Diploma in Quality Management’, a distance learning program by BSI & QPG.

To get more insight into quality concepts and to enhance your knowledge & skills related to quality join our ‘Diploma in Quality Management’ course. For more details visit our website


Juran believed quality is associated with customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the product, and emphasized the necessity for ongoing quality improvement through a succession of small improvement projects carried out throughout the organization. His ten steps to quality improvement are:

• Build awareness of the need and opportunity for improvement

• Set goals for improvement

• Organize to reach the goals

• Provide training

• Carry out projects to solve problems

• Report progress

• Give recognition

• Communicate results

• Keep score of improvements achieved

• Maintain momentum by making annual improvement part of the regular systems and processes of the company

To get more insight to quality improvements and other quality concepts join our ‘Diploma in Quality Management’ course. For more details visit our website http://qpg.co.in/distance_learning/diploma_in_quality_management

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