Edwards Deming (1900-93), um dos pioneiros da gestão da qualidade total, conta a seguinte anedota no seu (ainda hoje) altamente recomendável Out of the Crisis:
"During the “Manhattan project” (the making of nuclear bomb), Fermi asked Gen. Groves, the head of the project, what is the definition of a “great” general. Groves replied that any general who had won five battles in a row might safely be called great. Fermi then asked how many generals are great. Groves said about three out of every hundred. Fermi conjectured that, considering that opposing forces for most battles are roughly equal in strength, the chance of winning one battle is 1/2 and the chance of winning five battles in a row is 1/32. “So you are right, General, about three out of every hundred. Mathematical probability, not genius."