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 School Improvement:  Imperatives
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Deming's 14 Imperatives  represent Deming's unequivocal positions on a range of factors that will impact on 
    - the effectiveness of the enterprise (eg School) 
    - and people's abilities to be successful contributors 
    - people's well-being


1. Maintain a constancy of purpose

  • be clear about what you want to achieve and are working towards
  • build understanding of the purposes
  • demonstrate the capacity of the School to achieve those purposes
  • underpin action with sound well-articulated principles
  • acquire or develop tools, models that make it easy for everyone to contribute to the achievement of the purposes
  • ensure that all benefit from the purposes

2. Commit to the new philosophy 

  • learn to articulate the philosophy, theory, values, assumptions ... that underpin one's intentions
  • demonstrate a personal commitment to the things you ask of others
  • demonstrate a commitment to those of whom one asks

3. Cease dependence on mass inspection 

  • work to ensure that the processes are effective
  • provide tools, sampling methods, 
  • make assessment/appraisal collaborative and intrinsic

4. Stop doing business on the basis of cheapest; 

  • reduce cost by reducing variation 
  • calculate the total cost not just the initial cost
  • understand the total operation and the costs & benefits of each part of the system

5. Improve systems continuously & forever 

  • make the system explicit
  • eliminate the unnecessary
  • invest in prevention of failure
  • identify and specify processes & apply PDSA
  • identify constraints & apply the theory of constraints
  • concede no ultimate upper limit

6. Provide training to acquire skills 

  • make tasks expectations explicit and achieveable
  • invest in the people, their capabilities and well-being
  • know what people need more of (or less of) in order to do their work easier and well

7. Provide leadership: move everyone from

  • roles to relationships
  • rules to principles
  • directives to dialogue
  • control to agreement
  • policy to understanding
  • bossing to leadership

8. Drive out fear 

  • assign major responsibility to the system (eg, 'The School is responsible for the education of the student')
  • clarify that staff act on behalf of the system
  • demonstrate system support for staff  
  • build teams (to support each other and ensure mutual success)
  • move from policy and control to reality and collaboration
  • have fun and do well

9. Break down the barriers to cooperation

  • make information freely available
  • build teams
  • focus on improvement before change
  • make purposes explicit and methods known
  • support informed responsible initiatives
  • risk failure responsibly

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and arbitrary targets 

  • focus on the intrinsic importance of what is being done
  • encourage independent goal setting
  • encourage independent self evaluation

11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce (staff & students ...)

  • focus on improvement not end points
  • measure performance and make improvements

12. Remove barriers to pride in work 

  • know about people's endeavours and achievements
  • acknowledge achievements
  • encourage people to know about each other's endeavours and achievements

13. Promote education and personal growth for everyone

  • ensure that people have opportunities for personal development
  • complement training with education
  • encourage people to have rich lives with major interests outside the enterprise

14. Act to achieve the transformation 

  • do all the above and
  • learn what to change, 
  • learn what to change to, and 
  • learn how to achieve the change
  • act on your learning