W. Edwards Deming was a supreme practitioner of quality management.

He summarized his ideas in these Fourteen Points of Quality Management:

  1. Create constancy of purpose towards improvement. That means short-term out, long-term in.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. From top to bottom
  3. Cease dependence on inspection. You don’t inspect quality into products and services – you design it in.
  4. Move towards a single supplier for any one item. Playing many suppliers off against each other is wasteful.
  5. Improve constantly and forever. However good you are, you can always do better.
  6. Institute training on the job. The best place to learn.
  7. Institute leadership. Go well beyond supervision and its quotas and targets.
  8. Drive out fear. Makes for bad work – and bad management.
  9. Break down barriers between departments. No more “silos.”
  10. Eliminate slogans. Non-meaningful slogans are counter-productive substitute for real management.
  11. Eliminate management by objectives. Relying on production and other targets is also counter-productive.
  12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. The key to superior quality lies here – and in the Fourteen Points, which all encourage performance.
  13. Institute education and self-improvement. Organizational learning.
  14. Transformation is everyone’s job. Everyone, from the bottom – and including the top.

BOTTOMLINE: Simple, straightforward, not easy, but absolutely worth the effort.