Obituary: W. Edwards Deming

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The Independent Online
W. Edwards Deming, statistician, died Washington DC 20 December, aged 93. Pioneer of quality control in industry who helped revolutionise Japanese manufacturing. Developed a theory of gathering statistics on variations in manufacturing levels as a way to improve the quality of a company's output. Stressed the importance of worker involvement, goal-setting and communication over competition. Felt that quality lapses could be reduced by improving the process, not by lecturing workers about mistakes. His ideas were largely ignored in his native United States. Said he would like to be remembered 'as someone who spent his life trying to keep America from committing suicide'.