"We have learned to live in a world of mistakes and defective products as if they were necessary to life. It is time to adopt a new philosophy...." W. Edwards Deming
William Edwards Deming was born in Sioux City, Iowa on 14 October 1900. Deming is best known for his many roles. He was an adviser, consultant, author, and teacher to some of the most influential businessmen, corporations, and scientific pioneers of quality control. He is the most widely known proponent of statistical quality control. He has been described variously as a national folk hero in Japan, where he was influential in the spectacular rise of Japanese industry after World War II, as the high prophet of quality control and as the founder of the third wave of the Industrial Revolution (ASQ).
Early in his professional life, W. Edwards Deming was ignored in America, and in his chosen field, which was business management. When he passed in 1993, Deming's name in Japan is synonymous with Ataturk to the Turks. Deming is labeled in most Western business schools as the architect of the Japanese post-war industrial miracle and is regarded by many as the father of "total quality control" as it is practiced today (Deming, The Permaculture Activist, 1996, 1994 ). In 25 years, Deming turned Japan from a smoldering ruin into a world economic power. As a statistician born in 1900, Deming's early works were studies in how to gauge production efficiencies: how to survey worker and management opinions; how to correlate those surveys to gaps in manufacturing efficiency, all very industrial paradigms. But by mid-century, Deming was making American industrialists increasingly uncomfortable. He railed against planned obsolescence, management stratification, workplaces governed by tyranny, bootlicking and blackmail, and factories that pushed the human worker into the role of an automaton. Deming argued that ultimate success in any endeavor is rooted in basic concepts of human behavior, such as trusting your fellow man and living by the Golden Rule. Everything starts from the importance of the human being and moves on from there, he said. Optimize human enjoyment in the act of production and you optimize production, he said. How simple. How radical.
Because he did a short tenure with Roosevelt's munitions production council, Deming was invited to Japan at the end of World War II by industrial leaders and engineers who were expecting to learn from the man who they thought had driven the American juggernaut into Asia. They hired him to rebuild the shattered Japanese manufacturing capacity, thinking they would be getting something like Detroit and Wall Street, version 2.0. They hoped Deming would help them change the common perception that all Japan produced was cheap, shoddy imitations. They wanted to build high quality and innovative consumer goods like cars and electronic appliances. They wanted to lead the world. Deming told the group that if they would follow his directions, they could achieve the desired outcome in five years. Deming encouraged the Japanese to adopt a systematic approach to problem solving, which later became known as the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Deming, however, referred to it as the Shewhart Cycle, named after his teacher, W. A. Shewhart. He subsequently replaced "Check" by "Study," as that word reflects the actual meaning more accurately. Dr. Deming is the author of several books and about 200 papers. His books, "Out of the Crisis" (Deming, Out of the Crisis, 1986) and "The New Economics" (Deming, The New Economics, 1994) have been translated into several foreign languages. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of books, films, and videotapes profile his life, his philosophy, and the successful application of his teachings worldwide. Dr. Deming's four-day seminars reached 10,000 people per year for over a decade.
W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points are the basis for transformation of any industry. Adoption and...