35 Superb Edwards Deming Quotes

Dr. Edwards Deming was an American expert in many areas of business. His famous study of 14 points serve not only as a guideline for management, but has been said to improve workplace efficiency, increase profits and productivity over time. Here are some of the most well known Edwards Deming quotes that capture his wisdom and intellect.

“3% of the problems have figures, 97% of the problems do not.”

“A bad system will beat a good person every time.”

“A leader’s job is to help his people.”

“A rational prediction has an explanation based on theory.”

“A rule should suit the purpose.”


“All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride.”

“Any manager can do well in an expanding market.”

“Any two people have different ideas of what is important.”

“Are we noted for quality?”

“Best efforts will not substitute for knowledge.”

“Does experience help? No! Not if we are doing the wrong things.”

“Eliminate numerical quotas, including Management by Objectives.”

“Every theory is correct in its own world, but the problem is that the theory may not make contact with this world.”

“Everyone is a customer for somebody, or a supplier to somebody.”

“Forces of Destruction: grades in school, merit system, incentive pay, business plans, quotas.”

“I am not reporting things about people. I am reporting things about practices.”

“If someone can make a contribution to the company he feels important.”

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“If you destroy the people of a company, you do not have much left.”

“If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.”

“If you stay in this world, you will never learn another one.”

“Improve quality, you automatically improve productivity.”

“Information is not knowledge. Let’s not confuse the two.”

“It does not happen all at once. There is no instant pudding.”

“It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.”

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

“It’s management’s job to know.”

“Let us ask our suppliers to come and help us to solve our problems.”

“Management by results is confusing special causes with common causes.”

“Management of outcomes may not be any more than a skill. It does not require knowledge.”

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.”

“Quality is pride of workmanship.”

“There is a penalty for ignorance. We are paying through the nose.”

“We are here to make another world.”

“We must understand variation”

Check out the following clip from Dr. Edwards Deming discussing his perspective on the 14 points of management. These are one of the most important concepts to remember when applying Deming’s ideas. His unique perspective on organizational management will help to broaden your ideals when it comes to traditional belief systems of the workplace.

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