Out of the crisis

is an excellent book by W. Edwards Deming (isbn 0-911379-01-0). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
All industries, manufacturing and service, are subject to the same principles of management.
Quality comes not from inspection, but from improvement of the production process.
Today, 19 foreman out of 20 were never on the job that they supervise.
Fear amongst salaried workers may be attributed in large part to the annual rating of performance.
Absenteeism is largely a function of supervision. If people feel important to a job, they will come to work.
He that would run his company on visible figures alone will in time have neither company nor figures.
There has never been a definitive study of quality in the dental profession; nor is there likely to be one. Partly because they tend to work alone, dentists resist the idea of being evaluated, or even observed, by others.
Where there is fear, there will be wrong figures.
It is well known that rework piles up: no one wishes to tackle it.
This company had been sending a letter to every driver at every mistake. It made no difference whether this was the one mistake of the year for this driver, or the 15th: the letter was exactly the same. What does the driver who has received 15 warnings, all alike, think of the management?

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