This principle is one of many in a series of principles taught by Marshall Thurber


  • When a breakdown occurs blaming people is not a responsible strategy for improvement.
  • The impact due solely to a person’s direct action is small in comparison to that of the system within which they work.
  • Focus on improving the system which will achieve better results than searching for what people did wrong.
  • 94% of breakdown occurs because of process not the people
  • Blaming and replacing people will not produce better results, not responsible and is wasteful.
  • Fix the process
  • I’d like to declare a breakdown
  • Focus on the most effective improvement strategies.
  • Improve the area with the greatest possibility for results.
  • Goal without a process accomplishes nothing


  • the system that people work in and the interaction with people may account for 90 or 95 percent of performance.” – Dr Deming

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