Deming describes the following fourteen points in his book Out of the Crisis, Chapter 2.

Point 1: Improve the product or service and plan for the future

Create constancy of purpose. It means continuous improvement of the product/service with a plan to become competitive (and to stay in business).

There are, or should be, two management concerns. One deals with running the business on a day-to-day basis. The other deals with the future of the business. Problems of the future demand constancy of purpose and dedication to improvement. To stay in business requires that top management spend time on innovation, research and education. They must constantly improve the design of the product or service, and put resources into maintenance of equipment, furniture and fixtures.

Point 2: Adopt the new philosophy

We are in a new economic age. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship.

The new philosophy is simple. We cannot accept today the levels of error that could be tolerated yesterday. Only management is in a position to do something about the vast majority of errors. It is management’s task to remove the obstacles that prevent people from doing their jobs correctly. Defective products and services are a cost to the system.

Point 3: Cease dependence on mass inspection

Require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built in. This eliminates the need for inspection on a mass basis.

Mass inspection is only 60-80 percent reliable. The problem with mass inspection is that it is an attempt to control the product rather than the process. Routine 100 percent inspection is the same as planning for defects, acknowledging that the process is not correct or that the specifications made no sense in the first place.

Inspection is too late, as well as ineffective and costly. Scrap, downgrading, and rework are not corrective actions. Quality does not come from inspection, but from improvement of the process.

Point 4: Improve the quality of incoming materials

End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price tag. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality, along with price. Eliminate suppliers that cannot qualify with statistical evidence of quality.

One can no longer leave quality, service and price to forces of competition. Price has no meaning without measure of the quality purchased. Without adequate measures of quality, business drifts to the lowest bidder, therefore the result is low quality and high cost.

There is a necessity for mutual confidence and aid between the purchaser and the vendor. There should be a reduction in the number of suppliers.

Point 5: Find the problems

It is management’s job to work continually on the system.

Improvement of the system or process requires that it be under control. One should constantly improve the system of production and service. There should be continual education on waste and continued improvement of quality in every activity. This will yield a continual rise in productivity.

A study of the defects and faults produced by a process under statistical control is ineffective. This situation can be improved only by studying the process itself.

Point 6: Institute modern methods of training

Modern methods of on-the-job training use control charts to determine if a worker has been properly trained and is able to perform the job correctly. Training must be totally reconstructed. Statistical methods must be used to learn when training is finished. A big problem in training and supervision is the determination of what is acceptable work and what is not.

Point 7: Institute modern methods of supervision

The emphasis of production supervisors must be changed from numbers to quality. Improvement of quality will automatically improve productivity. Management must prepare to take immediate action on reports from supervisors concerning problems such as inherited defects, lack of maintenance of machines, poor tools, or fuzzy operational definitions.

The basic principle is that it is the supervisor’s job to coach the workers they control. Supervision belongs to the system and is the responsibility of management.

Point 8: Drive out fear

Eliminate fear so that everyone may work effectively for the company. To achieve better quality, it is necessary that people feel secure. There is often fear of change, fear of the knowledge that one might have to learn a better way. Workers are afraid to inquire into the job. So, they push along, as best they can. One common result of fear in seen in inspection. An inspector may record the result of an inspection incorrectly for fear of exceeding the quota of allowable defectives.

Fear is a symptom of failures in hiring, training, supervision, and bewilderment due to hard-to-follow company aims. Fear will disappear as management improves and as employees develop confidence in management.

Point 9: Break down barriers

People in the research, design, sales and production departments must work as a team to foresee problems of production that may be encountered with various materials and specifications.

Unless staff work jointly in a spirit of co-operation each area will try to do what is best for itself rather than what is good for the firm

Point 10: Eliminate numerical goals

Get rid of posters and slogans for the work force that ask for new levels of productivity without providing methods.

What is needed is not slogans but a road map to improvement. You cannot encourage workers to have zero defects or be proud of their work when many of the materials that they use are defective.

Posters and standards never help workers to do a better job, they fail to improve the potential of worker and machine. Instead, there should be posters explaining what management is doing to improve the system in order to make it possible to improve quality and productivity, not by working harder but by working smarter. Workers should understand that management is taking responsibility for problems and defects.

Goals are necessary, but numerical goals set for others, without a road map on how to reach the goals, have effects opposite to those sought. They generate frustration and resentment.

Point 11: Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas

Tear down walls between hourly workers and their right to take pride in their performance. A common barrier occurs when organisations do not treat their employees properly. Often workers and managers are regarded as commodities and are treated as such. As a result, they lose not only pride in their work but also the motivation to achieve high quality. Organisations should do everything possible to restore the employees’ pride in their work. By doing this, the organisation will not only reap the benefits of maximising the potential of its work force, but will also create loyalty, excitement, interest and team spirit.

Some steps that can assist management in removing barriers include:

Let employees know what their job is and how it should be performed.
Involve employees, at all levels, in the process of improvement.
Supply workers’ with the proper tools, materials and methods.
Stress the workers understanding of their importance in the extended process.
Meet basic work-related needs of employees.

Point 12: Remove barriers to pride in work

a). Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.

b) Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship.
This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual merit rating and of management by objectives.

Point 13: Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining

The purpose of education and training is to fit people into new jobs and new responsibilities. Training and re-training prepare employees for changes in their current jobs with respect to procedures, materials, machines and techniques. An educated worker is easily trained for new job duties.

Education and training can also prevent employee burnout by supplying employees with new information and job opportunities. This can be very valuable to the firm because it stimulates interest in the job and encourages participation and involvement on the part of the employees.

Point 14: Create an appropriate structure

Create a structure in management that will emphasise the preceding 13 points. To accomplish this objective, top management will require guidance from an experienced consultant. It is important to note that without such a structure, no viable long-term benefits will be achieved. Top managers must take an active part by leading the management of quality.