Deming's 14 Points

Deming's 14 Points

Dr. Walter Edwards Deming (1900-1993) wrote and published the Out of the Crisis (1982), a book that contains -- read: warns -- of the basic crises managers will encounter. Dr. Deming is known as a Management Guru, who became popular in his design troubleshooting techniques borne out of his business consultancy experiences in Japan and the US. Dr. Deming was also acknowledged by his business philosophy (could be a Deming's Law) -- when quality tends to increase, costs fall over time!

He could be a pragmatic alarmist, but his teachings on crisis management serve as important guidance for modern managers. The management psychologist M. Scott Myers pronounced the Deming's 14 Points in poetic reference to the warnings of Dr. Walter Edwards Deming. And Myers wrote, poetically:

The renowned ancient Guru exhorted folks to scorn
shoddy ways of doing things -- of crisis he did warn,
to guide their recovery from habits obsolete
14 points are offered to help them compete:

Resolve to stay in business
to be the best you can
with vision and strategies
to form a master plan!

Quality is essential
to succeed in this age
product and service flaws
incur consumer rage!

Quality is not achieved
by inspectors at the end
but by folks on the line
who errors find and mend!

When buying from suppliers
don't hang up on price
but choose frugal sources
punctual and precise!

Astute management practice
helpful systems provide
alert for system errors
to be quickly rectified!

Training is expanded
so everyone is skilled
to reawaken motivation
that routines had killed!

Foremen and operators
handle quality control
with leadership support
to facilitate their role!

Grant workers self-control
to drive away their fear
creative effort blossoms
in a climate of good cheer!

Slash bureaucratic barriers
established by traditions
let teams cross boundaries
to fulfill company missions!

Posters, slogans and numbers
put people's minds in jail
let folks refine their systems
so initiatives can prevail!

Engineered work standards
intended to set goals
put ceilings on performance
and limit worker roles!

Let workers own a process
to manage with pride
people proud of workmanship
take challenges in stride!

Education and retraining
for all folks high and low
reinvigorate commitment
so all can jointly grow!

The top management team
led by the CEO
must orchestrate daily
to make the process go!

INSIGHTS: Management is an art! As Myers would also poetically exhort, managers are "masters of the art of living, [who] go their exuberant way, drawing no distinction between work and play! They simply pursue a vision, through dedicated action; the attainment of excellence, being the key to satisfaction!"


Deming, Walter Edwards. 1982. Out of the Crisis. USA: MIT Press.

Myers, M. Scott. 1994. Rhymes of the Ancient Manager -- Leadership in the New Age. Walton Beach, FL: Choctaw Publishing.

Walter Edwards Deming at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming