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Quotations about quality

1.  Using data

1.1      There are three types of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics.

 Benjamin DISRAELI (1804 – 1881)

           He should have continued the quote with:
       … as crooks know how to lie with statistics, honest men must learn them in self-defence.


1.2     Often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure,
          when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

Lord KELVIN aka William THOMSON (1824 – 1907)


1.3      We need facts not hearsay; then find out what those facts mean.


1.4      Let’s invite data to the meeting.


1.5      In God I trust, everyone else brings me data.
            A corruption of a popular saying based on dollar bills: In God I trust, everyone else brings me cash.                                      
W Edwards DEMING (1900 – 1993)


1.6      When we measure a sample, we are not investigating the difference in the sample, but estimating the variability of those pieces we have not measured.


1.7      Managers must learn to speak with data, and the first thing to do when you see data is don’t trust it.                                            Kaora ISHIKAWA (1915 – 1989)


1.7      SPC is not concerned with being numerate, or knowledgeable about statistics, it is concerned with communication and making decisions.

1.8     All progress in modern time has been made through measurement, then understanding what  the numbers are telling us.

1.9    He uses statistics like a drunken man uses a lamp-post; for support not illumination.                                           Andrew LANG Scots anthropologist (1844 – 1912)

1.10 On two occasions I have been asked;  Pray Mr. Babbage, if you put wrong figures into the machine, will the right answers come out?

        ... I am not able to comprehend the kind of confusion of ideas in someone’s head that could provoke such a question.

Charles BABBAGE (1791 –  1871), Passages from the Life of a Philosopher



2.  Data analysis

2.1   Analysis by osmosis – soak it up then you will understand it.                                                               Roland CAULCUTT (brilliant statistician, who taught me all!)

           Just a very few people have the ability to look at a page of data and understand what it is saying; the rest of us need pictures.
           Yet many who do not have that skill gaze with watery eyes in the hope that inspiration will jump out of the page.


2.2   If you don’t attack the risks, the risks will attack you.


2.3   When we analyse we can choose whether to reveal or conceal the truth.


2.4  We live in an information age, surrounded by numbers, databases and spreadsheets. Yet, despite the availability of all this data,
       how many people really know what it means. The problem is that before the data are useful, they must be analysed interpreted and  made intelligible.





3.  Trials and Planning

3.1   The more you plan the luckier you get.


3.2   Trials are for converting an art into a science.


3.3   Trials are a vehicle for learning not tests for performance.


3.4   There is never enough time to do it right first time.  But there is always enough time to go back and do it again.


3.5   Plan – Do – Check – Act?  No, no said the manager, Do – Shit – Plan – Excuses                                                                                                  Ian CARMICHAEL


3.6   Only bother to understand those processes you don’t want your competitors to beat you with.


3.7   Unreliable data provides bad decisions;  only planned data will be reliable.


3.8   The whole objective of technology is to produce a controlled effect in given circumstances.


3.9   There is no such thing as a failed trial, just an unexpected outcome rich in learning; do not hide your disappointment.


3.10  If drinking whisky gets in the way of running your business – give up the business.
         If time taken to plan your trial gets in the way of reliable output – give up expecting reliable output.


3.11  How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.


3.12  No amount of experiments can prove me right. One experiment can prove me wrong.                                                                       Albert EINSTEIN (1879 – 1955)


3.13 Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. And the nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise
         rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sir John HARVEY-JONES (1924-2008)


3.14 Doing the job right first time means the business gets stronger and is better able to employ you. Having to do it again 14 times gives the illusion of job security.




4.  Improvement

4.1   Improvement and problem solving are one and the same thing.


4.2   One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting an improved result.

Albert EINSTEIN (1879 – 1955)

4.3   If you think as you have always thought and

        Act as you have always acted

        You will get what you have always got.


4.4   Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy working on the proof.

John GALBRAITH (1908 – 2006)

4.5   Results cannot be managed by setting goals. We need to get at the root cause of problems.


4.6   Improvement is a culture, not an initiative. All too often when problems are addressed, time pressures and lack of experience or resources leave
         the problem “stunned” rather than “killed”. This does not provide sustainable improvement, nor is it continuous improvement.


4.7   I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if we are to get better.         Georg LICHTENBERG (1742 – 1799)

4.8   Survival is not compulsory.


4.9   If a part of a process does not change something, if it does not create wealth, then it consumes wealth
        You can not make good product with an incapable process.


4.10  Only understand those processes that are important to you. Don’t bother with those you are happy for your competitors to steal.


4.11  Many managers measure the state of their Quality on the basis of No news is good news.
         What would your customers think if you told them the quality plan was based on such logic, rather than a scientific approach to effective inspection.


4.12  To really understand the root cause of waste and error, we must collect data.  Experience has taught us that there are no free lunches.

4.13  An error only becomes a mistake if you fail to correct it.                                                                                                                   John F KENNEDY (1917 – 1963)

4.14   Change, change, change. Aren’t things bad enough as they are.                                                                                               Lord PALMERSTONE(1784 – 1865)

4.15  If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you are doing.                                                       W Edwards DEMING (1900 – 1993)




5.  Managers role

5.1   Managing a business by using past data without analysis is like trying to drive a car by watching the road marking through the rear view mirror.


5.2   At a game of Australian football, the ball was kicked well into the spectators and whilst everyone was getting impatient for its return,
        a lone voice from the crowd shouted,” Don’t worry about the ball, get on with the game!”

        This is not an Australian trait, as the sentiment matches precisely the view of many senior managers,” Don’t worry about the measurement,
        get on with the improvement!”


5.3   The emphasis has too often been on monitoring with increased precision the rapidity of decline, whilst ignoring measurements
        which could identify a path to improvement


5.4   We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet
        any situation by reorganising. And a wonderful method it can be for creating an illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.

questionably Petronius ARBITER, Governor of Bithynia AD 65


5.5   You can blame people who knock things over in the dark, or you can begin to light candles.
        You’re only at fault if you know about the problem and choose to do nothing.                                                                                                          Paul HAWKEN 


5.6   The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.                     George Bernard SHAW (1856 – 1950) Irish dramatist and socialist


5.7   Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing those that opposed them



6.  Definitions of Quality

6.1   Sometimes, doing our best is not good enough; we have to do what is required.


6.2   Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because
         it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe.
         This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.         Peter DRUCKER (1909 – 2005)


6.3   Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of intelligent effort                                                                                                       John RUSKIN (1819 – 1900)

6.4   Come give us a taste of your Quality.                                                                                                                                                                   Hamlet Act II scene II

6.5   Quality is when the customer comes back …… but not with the product


6.6   There is hardly a company that does not claim to be committed to Quality. Sadly neither the use of slogans nor delegating the need
         for a culture change to lower levels in the company will produce sustained improvement.                                                                                               Jon CHOPIN

6.7   Quality is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration.                                                                                                                                     Albert EINSTEIN (1879 – 1955)

6.8  Many businesses gauge their Quality on the basis of NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS

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