Three Deming Principles to Improve Productivity and Work Quality

In our last newsletter, we talked about the renowned management consultant W. Edwards Deming and his Plan-Do-Study-Act process to improve productivity. Now, let’s explore three more Deming principles that can help you manage your business.  

Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service.
Think ahead to the future. If you’re considering expanding your services or making other changes, start laying the groundwork now. Also, always seek new ways to improve operations by:

  • keeping up with industry trends;
  • investing in training for employees; and
  • communicating with your employees (such as a ten-minute huddle at the end of each day) to discover what’s working and what is not.

Adopt the new philosophy.
Having a “rolling with the punches” mindset can hurt business efficiency as you find yourself constantly putting out fires. Instead, look critically at how your company has been doing things and be open to new approaches that will prevent circumstances from going ablaze in the first place. For example, rather than just assuming your crew will know exactly what to do, ask your employees or sub-contractors to repeat verbally what they are tasked with doing. Doing so will allow you to confirm understanding and help prevent mistakes. 

Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
Inspecting jobs after they’re finished is too late to ensure or improve quality.  Instead, consider doing random check-ups on-site to assess if in-progress jobs are meeting your company’s standards. This will enable you to identify if crew members need additional training and figure out what process improvements will help eliminate quality failures. 

To learn more about all 14 of Deming’s principles, visit The Deming Institute website at