Quotations by Deming, W. Edwards


Learning is not compulsory; it’s voluntary. Improvement is not compulsory; it’s voluntary. But to survive, we must learn.

W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) American management consultant, educator
“Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position” seminar (24-28 Feb 1986)
    (Source)

Often paraphrased: "Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Jul-20
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If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.

W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) American management consultant, educator
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) American management consultant, educator
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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In God we trust. All others must bring data.

W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) American management consultant, educator
(Misattributed)

Variants: "All others must have/provide data."

Frequently attributed to Deming, probably through Mary Walton, The Deming Management Method, ch. 20 (1986), though it is presented there without attribution: "'In God we trust. All others must bring data.' If there is a credo for statisticians, it is that."

The earliest appearance in print comes from Edwin R. Fisher, Effect of Smoking on Nonsmokers: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Tobacco of the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, Ninety-fifth Congress, Second Session (7 Sep 1978): "I should like to close by citing a well-recognized cliche in scientific circles. The cliche is, 'In God we trust, others must provide data.'"

For more discussion see here.
Added on 21-Jul-20 | Last updated 21-Jul-20
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The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they were taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management.

W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) American management consultant, educator
Out of the Crisis, ch. 3 (1982)
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Added on 11-Aug-20 | Last updated 11-Aug-20
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