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topic 6078

QC Saying: "»≠—what you don't measure"


There is a famous quality quotation that says, in essence, that "you can't fix what you don't measure."

What exactly was the quotation and who said it? I saw it in print once and I would like to frame it.

Jeff Pernick
IHC Inc. - Detroit, Michigan USA


Good question! I thought it was "You can't control what you don't measure".

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


I think Ted is correct and it came from Demming.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida

Quality Calibration Handbook
from Abe Books



According to the quality guru where I work, what you are looking for may be from Lord Kelvin, 1883:

"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind."

bill vins
Bill Vins
microwave & cable assemblies
Mesa (what a place-a), Arizona 

January 2, 2011

I, too, thought it was Demming, so I sought to verify that. While Demming stressed measurement, he actually looked at many things that were important to control but that could not be measured.

Ken Robey
- Matthews, North Carolina, USA

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