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Deming’s Philosophy on Quality

Quality is an extent to which an object fulfills a specified set of conditions, ISO 9001: 2015. A QMS, quality management system, is put in place to manage, control, and improve quality in an organization. A QMS is a documentation of processes, responsibilities, and procedures to achieve quality objectives and policies and also efficiency continuously. A QMS helps meet the organization’s as well as customer’s requirements by instilling growth and more profit. Dr. Edwards Deming had an interest in quality.

Dr. Edwards Deming was born in 1900 and was a well-educated person having majored in electrical engineering and mathematical physics. He was an author, engineer, professor, and management consultant. He was fascinated by the idea of using statistics to improve quality control. His philosophy on quality stated that those organizations that focused to improve quality would automatically reduce costs whereas those that were determined to reduce costs would instantly reduce quality and as a result increase costs (Bagrova & Kruchinin, 2021). He outlined this in his theory of management known as The Deming Theory of Profound Knowledge. The theory has 14 points which he discussed in detail in his book, ‘out of the crisis.’ Today, these points are accepted as part of the management theory. The Deming theory has four components which are; appreciation of a system which means to understand all procedures involving customers, producers, and suppliers ; knowledge of variation which means to understand the range and what causes variation in quality; epistemology which is concepts of explaining knowledge and to what extent; psychology which is a concept of human nature.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming emphasized embracing relevant principles of management which increased quality and reduced costs. There are standard principles of quality management defined by ISO 9001. Some of these include engagement of people, leadership, customer focus, and improvement. These principles reflect The Deming theory 14 points.

Quality control is the prevention of mistakes and executing processes as outlined in the quality management system. It is about controlling each aspect of quality in the production of goods and services. Quality improvement is a continuous practice that enhances processes concerning management, assurance and control, and the overall quality of products (Koskela et al, 2019). Walter Shewhart built the foundation of PDCA and years later Dr. Deming developed the model to PDCA Cycle. Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle is a technique to continuously improving products and processes.

Quality improvement can be seen by using tools such as the PDCA cycle. It is a four-stage method that enables the avoidance of recurring mistakes and improvement of processes. The four stages are plan, Do, Check and Act. The planning stage involves planning what needs to be done. After planning comes taking action by implementing what has been said in the plan that the team created. The check phase is the most important stage in the cycle (Chaturvedi, 2020). For the plan to work and avoid mistakes and allow for continuous improvement, audit the plan’s execution to identify any problem and rectify it. The last stage is the Act Phase where you act by application of the initial plan if goals were met. The PDCA Cycle can have a positive impact on efficiency and productivity.

By the 1950s, Dr. Deming’s work and philosophy had received international recognition. In Japan, a group of businessmen invited him to teach them about his methods. These methods would reduce expenses, increase productivity & market share. As result, Japanese manufacturing became worldly known for high-quality output and dominated the automotive industry. In 1960, Deming was awarded a medal by the Japanese Emperor. He became a consultant to the government and business leaders. In 1981, he went to work for Ford Motor Company which had incurred a huge debt. After they implemented his principles, Ford improved and increased its profits and earnings. In 1951, the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) founded the Deming Prize to merit him (Adawiyah et al,2020). Today, winning this prize marks a company for having a high level of commitment in ensuring quality. The application procedure for this prize is long and requires years of preparation. Other achievements include the development of the sampling technique which was used in the 1940’s census, therefore, forming the Deming-Stephan algorithm. Deming emphasized leadership in his theory. The role of the management is that leaders not only measure results but inspire and guide their team to success. The management’s role is to provide leadership (Jalnasow, 2019). Leadership is having a vision and communicating this vision to your team in achieving the same goals and objectives. Failure to plan for the future by the management leads to the loss of jobs. Therefore they must come up with innovative plans to keep the business afloat and provide more jobs.

Dr. Deming died in 1993. He revolutionized the manufacturing industry by stating that you should see manufacturing as a process. To this day, Dr. Deming’s principles and methods are being implemented in organizations and businesses to maximize the quality of products. He is known as a hero of quality or the ‘Father of Quality Evolution.’ He indeed contributed to the success of businesses today by his ideas on quality.


Adawiyah, W. R., Pramuka, B. A., & Sholikhah, Z. (2020). Deming’s Quality Management Practices by Small Businesses in Rural Areas. In SHS Web of Conferences (Vol. 86, p. 01030). EDP Sciences.

Bagrova, E., & Kruchinin, S. (2021). Deming’s 14 points in modern higher education. In SHS Web of Conferences (Vol. 94). EDP Sciences.

Chaturvedi, J. (2020). Emerging Organizations Follow Dr. Deming’s Philosophy.

Jalnasow, D. (2019). The introduction of system approach in quality management in XX Century. Предприемачество, 7(2), 193-204.

Koskela, L., Tezel, A., & Patel, V. (2019). Theory of quality management: Its origins and history.


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