Title:  Out of the Crisis

Author:  Deming, W E

Printer:  Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, Centre for Advanced Engineering Study

Date: 1982, many subsequent reprints

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John Seddon writes: Out of the Crisis is a ‘must-read’ book.

When I came across Out of the Crisis it spoke loudly about the problems preoccupying me. I had been pondering how organisations really worked and, more specifically, how the work worked and was dissatisfied with what I was learning from managers – convention and practise does not amount to knowledge. Deming hit the knowledge issue head on. He also gave a thorough account of what’s wrong with convention: the absurdity of targets and other conventional myths.

He also led me in the right direction, to understand and manage organisations as systems. Working in service organisations I had to learn to solve different problems from those Deming describes in manufacturing, but this book was always at my side to help me reflect on the theory it imparts.

When I work with managers at the start of their journey they will often say ‘this is destroying everything I believe about management’. Out of the Crisis did that for me.