Principle 5: Improve Constanly and Forever

Deming’s Principle of Management n. 5 full statement is as follows:

“Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.”

Not only must quality be built into products and services at the design stage, but efforts at quality improvement must be pursued constantly. Everyone should search continually for problems in order to improve every activity in the company. We have to improve every process.

Improve is “to enhance in value or quality: to make better“. Continuous improvement means we must accept the fact that we don’t “know it all”. Our system is not perfect. We must be willing to make changes. We must be willing and have the confidence to make a mistake. We must look at our systems from various views and perspectives to better understand it. We must be willing to share information about our systems with others so they can provide suggestions that may only be seen from “outside”. We must be willing to look beyond the boundaries. We must be willing to learn!

Processes will become more predictable, and further improvement easier to see as the background noise of common cause variation is reduced. Operational definitions will be made more useful and consistent, meaning greater understanding and cooperation between everyone in the system.

Summing-up: Improvement isn’t a project with a finite end. Instead, think continuous, never ending improvement.

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