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Quality Management

By Craig A. Stevens, PMP, CC and his students

The Mobile of Excellent Management is also found in the Book -

Geronimo Stone, His Music, His Love, and the Mobile of Excellent Management


Total Quality Management (TQM)

by Beth Vines (TNU 2008)


            Dr. W. Edward Deming is widely regarded as the father of Total Quality Management. An American statistician, he became famous after WWII helping Japan rebuild its nation through ideas of quality. Although late in his life he expressed disappointment in the United States ability to widely accept the same principles of management that had made Japan such a success, Deming’s principles can be easily outlined through his Fourteen Points and Seven Deadly Diseases. They are outlined below:



  1. Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service. Dr. Deming suggests that a company’s role is not to make money, but to stay in business and provide jobs through innovation, research, constant improvement and maintenance.

  2. Adopt the new philosophy. Dr. Deming believed Americans are too tolerant of poor workmanship and sullen service. We need a new religion in which mistakes and negativism are unacceptable.

  3. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Quality comes not from inspection but from improvement of process. With instruction, workers can be enlisted in this improvement.

  4. End the practice of awarding business on a price tag alone. Seek the best quality and work to achieve it with a single supplier for any on item in a long-term relationship – pricing will come with this relationship.

  5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service. Improvement is not a one-time effort, management is obligated to continually look for ways to reduce waste and improve quality.

  6. Institute Training. Many times a worker learns their job from another worker who was not trained properly. They can’t do their jobs right because no one has taught them how.

  7. Institute Leadership. The job of the supervisor is to lead. To lead, the supervisor must be willing to help people do a better job and provide individual help.

  8. Drive out fear. Employees must not fear asking questions or to take a position. If they are fearful, they will continue to do things the wrong way.

  9. Break down barriers between staff areas. Do not have departments competing with each other or have goals in conflict.

  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce. Let people put up their own slogans.

  11. Eliminate numerical quotas. Quotas only take into account numbers, not quality or methods.

  12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. Eliminate misguided supervisors, faulty equipment, and defective materials that stand in the way of employees doing a good job.

  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining. New methods are a part of continuously improving. Therefore the staff and workforce must be continually educated and retrained in the new methods.

  14. Take action to accomplish the transformation. It will take a special team of top management and workers to carry out the quality mission. A large amount of employees must understand the fourteen points and seven deadly diseases.




  1. Lack of constancy of purpose. Without constancy in purpose, management is insecure, and so are employees.

  2. Emphasis on short-term profits.  Short term financial goals undermine quality and productivity.

  3. Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance. Performance ratings build fear, and leave people bitter, despondent and beaten. It also encourages management mobility.

  4. Mobility of management. Job-hopping managers never understand the companies they work for and are never long enough to follow through on long-range goals.

  5. Running a company on visible figures alone. The most important figures are unknown and unknowable.

  6. Excessive medical costs.

  7. Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers that work on contingency feed.

In addition to the seven deadly diseases, Dr. Deming identified obstacles that thwart productivity. These included: neglect of long range planning; relying on technology to solve problems; seeking examples to follow rather than developing solution; excuses such as “Our problems are different”, and others (Walton, 34-37).


Walton, Mary. The Deming Management Method. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1986.



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