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The Deming prize is the first management award that was created (1951) and is considered the ” Nobel Prize for Quality Management “.


Created in 1951 in honor of W. E. Deming, the Japanese Union of Science and Engineering offers the Deming award to companies that have established and adhere to the principles and tools of Total Quality Management. This is the first management award that has been created and is considered the ” Nobel Prize for Quality management1. Several dozen companies have been awarded worldwide. We find among them the most successful in the world like Toyota, Nec, Sony or even Nissan.

The Japanese Union of Science and Engineering was established in 1946 in Japan to promote good practice at the end of the war. It proposes this award to ” push ” companies and recognize among them the best and thus instill a dynamic of improvement. Any company can apply for this price, whether it is private or public, small or very large.

1. Definition of TQM

TQM is a series of systematic activities implemented by the entire organization to effectively and efficiently achieve the company’s objectives in order to offer products and services a level of quality that satisfies the The price and the appropriate time. » JUSE – October 2009

Systematic activities” are activities organized to achieve the company’s mission under the leadership and determination of TOP management that establishes a clear medium and long-term vision as well as strategies and appropriate quality policies.

« Implemented by the entire organization to actually and effectively achieve means involving everyone at all levels and in all parts of the business in order to achieve the company’s objectives quickly and effectively with the least amount of management resources. This is accomplished through an appropriate management system that has a quality assurance system as a central objective, and integrates other management systems such as cost, time, environment and security. Respect for human values encourages the company to develop the human resources that support its technology, its speed and its vitality. The company maintains and improves its processes and operations and uses appropriate statistical techniques and other tools. Based on the facts, the company manages its business by rotating the PDCA management cycle. The company also reconstructs its management system using appropriate scientific methods and information technology.

company objectives” refer to securing the appropriate long-term profit by satisfying customers constantly and continually as much as employees, partners, suppliers and shareholders.

offer “refers to the activities of the production of products and services on delivery to customers, including research, planning, development, design, product preparation, procurement, manufacturing, installation, inspection, maintenance Orders, distribution, sales and marketing, maintenance, after-sales service, and device after use and recycling.

products and services” include manufactured products (products, parts and finished materials), systems, software, energy, information and all other benefits that are offered to customers.

« Quality Refers to the use (functional and psychological), reliability and safety. In the definition of quality, the influence on the three parts, society, environment and future generations must also be taken into account.

Customers ” include buyers but also users, consumers and beneficiaries.

2. The evaluation criteria

The evaluation of the Deming Prize is based on 3 key axes: The management style responds to the 14 Principles of TQM, the TQM tools are put in place and used wisely, and finally, the results achieved correspond to the expectations and the strategy set.

Evaluation as such, deals with 3 large families that we detail below.

2.1 The Basics

1-TQM policies and objectives, and quality organization and management

  • With clear management policies that reflect its industrial, economic and environmental management principles, the company has established competitive objectives and strategies aimed at quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Management policies are deployed throughout the organisation and are adapted in a uniform way.

2-New product development, innovation process

  • The company actively develops new products or services and innovates in its processes.
  • The new products must meet the expectations of the customers. In the case of process innovations, this must contribute strongly to the improvement of the efficiency of the company.

3-Maintain and improve the products and the operational quality

  • Daily work Management: Through standardization and training, the company seldom has problems in the daily work and the main activities of each department are stabilized.
  • Continuous Improvement: The company makes improvements in quality and in other aspects of its activity in a planned and continuous way. This has reduced the claims and quality defects on the market. The customer’s level of satisfaction has increased.

4-Management System

The company has established a system to manage quality, quantity, time, costs, security and the environment.

5-Information analysis and use of information technology

The company collects quality information from the market and within its organization, in an organized way and actually uses it. Using statistical methods and information technology, they are actually used for the development of new products as well as for the maintenance and improvement of operational quality.

6-Human resources development

The company educates and develops its human resources in a planned way allowing the maintenance and improvement of the products and the operational quality.

2.2 The single activity

The unique activity refers to the quality point on which the company focuses for its development. The company must have at least one unique activity. These activities may be close to the basics listed below or not. We can find for example:

  • A major effort is given by the Top management to share values and vision
  • The company focuses heavily on the creation of value for the customer
  • A remarkable improvement system is the priority

2.3 Role of Top management

The role of Top Management is key in maintaining and improving the principles of TQM. The examiner will assess the level of enthusiasm, commitment… of management through informal issues. The following points will be evaluated:

  • TQM’s understanding and enthusiasm
  • A look at Top management Leadership, vision, policy deployment and environmental change
  • Strength of the Organization: maintenance, technological reinforcement, responsiveness…
  • Team Development
  • Social responsibility

3. The notation

3.1 The Basics

Each sub-group is equivalent to a maximum number of points and will be marked with an ” angle of view “. Each evaluation can therefore be done in the following angle:

  • Effectiveness: Effective in achieving objectives
  • Coherence: coherent throughout the organization
  • Continuity: continuous to medium as long term.
  • Deployment: Implemented through evaluated Department

Each sub-group is therefore evaluated as a priority according to the angle of view shown in the table below:

Thus, the double round indicates the priority view angle with which we must carry out the evaluation of the sub-group in question. The points are then assigned according to the following table:


Implementing activities

Element with 10 points max

Element with 15 max points


No activity





1 – 3

1 – 5



4 – 6

6 – 9



7 – 8

10 – 12


Exceptional, world-class benchmark

9 – 10

13 – 15

A result obtained from 70 points or more allows to validate this group.

3.2 The single activity

The single activity is not evaluated if it is already present in the basics. If not, it will be evaluated with the same principle as before. We will evaluate according to three angles of view:

  • Efficiency: The activity is organized and contributes to the performance of the organization and to the growth of the company.
  • Reproducibility: The evaluation is about the process that allowed the result and not the result itself. The challenge is to be able to assess the fact that if we do a similar process, the results will be the same.
  • Innovation: The activity must be innovative and contribute to the development.

Each point of view is evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5 below:

1 point

2 points

3 points

4 points

5 points

None exists

Hardly any exists

Somewhat exists


Great location

Finally, all points are summed and an overall assessment is given according to the following table:

1 point

2 points

3 points

4 points

5 points

Non-Admirable activity

Activity can be found elsewhere

Good activity, but not excellent

Excellent activity constituting an element of the core technology

Exceptional activity, can be other organizations benchmark

A result obtained from 3.5 points or more allows to validate this group.

3.3 Role of Top management

A scale on 100 is set up by the earned. A result obtained from 70 points or more allows to validate this group.

4. The candidate process

  1. Current n-1: Apply to the earned
  2. End of November n-1: Reception of the guide and implementation of TQM diagnostics and pre-application consultation
  3. February: Send the application file by the earned
  4. April: Submission of the DTQMP (Description of TQM practices)
  5. May: Data review
  6. June: Notification of primary results (pass – does not pass)
  7. July: If the previous step is successful, prepare the meeting with the examiner.
  8. September: On-site review
  9. October: Public announcement for successful people.
  10. November: Awards ceremony.
  11. 3 years after: On-site review and if applicable participation in the challenge

It will be noted that the Deming Prize is free, only the costs of travel are at the expense of the company. This gratuity has a story:

In 1950, W. E. Deming gave a 8-day course in Japan on Statistical quality control. A written version of the course was sold to the participants. Deming chooses to reauthorize his copyright to the earned. For this reason, the earned subsidizes examination costs2.



1 – A. Chardonnet, D. Underlayment (2014) – PDCA and sustainable performance

2-M. Jaccard (2010) – Objective quality

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