Quality Gurus 168
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The Quality Gurus—Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Dr. Joseph Juran, Philip Crosby, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Dr. H. James Harrington, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Dr. Walter A. Shewhart, Shigeo Shingo, Frederick Taylor, and Dr. Genichi Taguchi—have made a significant impact on the world through their contributions to improving not only businesses, but all organizations including state and national governments, military organizations, educational institutions, healthcare organizations, and many other establishments and organizations.

DR. W. EDWARDS DEMING (1900–1993)

Dr. W. Edward Deming is best known for reminding management that most problems are systemic and that it is management's responsibility to improve the systems so that workers (management and non-management) can do their jobs more effectively. Deming argued that higher quality leads to higher productivity, which, in turn, leads to long-term competitive strength. The theory is that improvements in quality lead to lower costs and higher productivity because they result in less rework, fewer mistakes, fewer delays, and better use of time and materials. With better quality and lower prices, a firm can achieve a greater market share and thus stay in business, providing more and more jobs.

When he died in December 1993 at the age of ninety-three, Deming had taught quality and productivity improvement for more than fifty years. His Fourteen Points, System of Profound Knowledge, and teachings on statistical control and process variability are studied by people all over the world. His books include: Out of the Crisis (1986), The New Economics (1993), and Statistical Adjustment of Data (1943).

In emphasizing management's responsibility, Deming noted that workers are responsible for 10 to 20 percent of the quality problems in a factory, and that the remaining 80 to 90 percent is under management's control. Workers are responsible for communicating to management the information they possess regarding the system. Deming's approach requires an organization-wide cultural transformation.

Deming's philosophy is summarized in his famous fourteen points, and it serves as a framework for quality and productivity improvement. Instead of relying on inspection at the end of the process to find flaws, Deming advocated a statistical analysis of the manufacturing process and emphasized cooperation of workers and management to achieve high-quality products.

Deming's quality methods centered on systematically tallying product defects, analyzing their causes, correcting the causes, and recording the effects of the corrections on subsequent product quality as defects were prevented. He taught that it is less costly in the long-run to get things done right the first time then fix them later.


The son of a small-town lawyer, Deming (a teacher and consultant in statistical studies) attended the University of Wyoming, University of Colorado, and Yale University, where he earned his Ph.D. in mathematical physics. He then taught physics at several universities, worked as a mathematical physicist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was a statistical adviser for the U.S. Census Bureau.

From 1946 to 1993 he was a professor of statistics at New York University's graduate school of business administration, and he taught at Columbia University. Deming became interested in the use of statistical analysis to achieve better quality control in industry in the 1930s.

In 1950 Deming began teaching and consulting with Japanese industrialists through the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). In 1960, he received the Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan for improvement of quality and the Japanese economy. In 1987 he received the National Medal of Technology from U. S. President Ronald Reagan because of his impact on quality in the United States.

From 1946 to 1993, he was an international teacher and consultant in the area of quality improvement based on statistics, leadership, and customer satisfaction. The Deming Prize for quality was established in 1951 in Japan by JUSE and in 1980 in the United States by the Metropolitan Section of the American Society for Quality.

American companies ignored Deming's teachings for years. In 1980, NBC aired the program "If Japan Can, Why Can't We?," highlighting Deming's contributions in Japan and American companies began to discover Deming. His ideas were used by major U.S. corporations as they sought to compete more effectively against foreign manufacturers.

As a consultant, Deming continued to conduct Quality Management seminars until just days before his death in 1993.


One of Deming's essential theories is his System of Profound Knowledge, which includes appreciation for a system, knowledge about variation (statistics), theory of knowledge, and psychology (of individuals, groups, society, and change). Although the Fourteen Points are probably the most widely known of Dr. Deming's theories, he actually taught them as a part of his System of Profound Knowledge. His knowledge system consists of four interrelated parts: (1) Theory of Optimization; (2) Theory of Variation; (3) Theory of Knowledge; and (4) Theory of Psychology.


The objective of an organization is the optimization of the total system and not the optimization of the individual subsystems. The total system consists of all constituents—customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, the community, and the environment. A company's long-term objective is to create a win-win situation for all of its constituents.

Subsystem optimization works against this objective and can lead to a suboptimal total system. According to Deming, it is poor management, for example, to purchase materials or service at the lowest price or to minimize the cost of manufacturing if it is at the expense of the system. Inexpensive materials may be of such inferior quality that they will cause excessive costs in adjustment and repair during manufacturing and assembly.


Deming's philosophy focuses on improving the product and service uncertainty and variability in design and manufacturing processes. Deming believed that variation is a major cause of poor quality. In mechanical assemblies, for example, variations from specifications for part dimensions lead to inconsistent performance and premature wear and failure. Likewise, inconsistencies in service frustrate customers and hurt companies' reputations. Deming taught Statistical Process Control and used control charts to demonstrate variation in processes and how to determine if a process is in statistical control.

There is a variation in every process. Even with the same inputs, a production process can produce different results because it contains many sources of variation, for example the materials may not be always be exactly the same; the tools wear out over time and they are subjected to vibration heat or cold; or the operators may make mistakes. Variation due to any of these individual sources appears at random; however, their combined effect is stable and usually can be predicted statistically. These factors that are present as a natural part of a process are referred to as common (or system) causes of variation.

Common causes are due to the inherent design and structure of the system. It is management's responsibility to reduce or eliminate common causes. Special causes are external to the system, and it is the responsibility of operating personnel to eliminate such causes. Common causes of variation generally account for about 80 to 90 percent of the observed variation in a production process. The remaining 10 to 20 percent are the result of special causes of variation, often called assignable causes. Factors such as bad material from a supplier, a poorly trained operator or excessive tool wear are examples of special causes. If no operators are trained, that is system problem, not a special cause. The system has to be changed.


Deming emphasized that knowledge is not possible without theory, and experience alone does not establish a theory. Experience only describes—it cannot be tested or validated—and alone is no help for management. Theory, on the other hand, shows a cause-and-effect relationship that can be used for prediction. There is a lesson here for the widespread benchmarking practices: copying only an example of success, without understanding it in theory, may not lead to success, but could lead to disaster.


Psychology helps to understand people, interactions between people and circumstances, interactions between leaders and employees, and any system of management. Consequently, managing people requires knowledge of psychology. Also required is knowledge of what motivates people. Job satisfaction and the motivation to excel are intrinsic. Reward and recognition are extrinsic. Management needs to create the right mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors to motivate employees.


Deming believed that traditional management practices, such as the Seven Deadly Diseases listed below, significantly contributed to the American quality crisis.

  1. Lack of constancy of purpose to plan and deliver products and services that will help a company survive in the long term.
  2. Emphasis on short-term profits caused by short-term thinking (which is just the opposite of constancy of purpose), fear of takeovers, worry about quarterly dividends, and other types of reactive management.
  3. Performance appraisals (i.e., annual reviews, merit ratings) that promote fear and stimulate unnecessary competition among employees.
  4. Mobility of management (i.e., job hopping), which promotes short-term thinking.
  5. Management by use of visible figures without concern about other data, such as the effect of happy and unhappy customers on sales, and the increase in overall quality and productivity that comes from quality improvement upstream.
  6. Excessive medical costs, which now have been acknowledged as excessive by federal and state governments, as well as industries themselves.
  7. Excessive costs of liability further increased by lawyers working on contingency fees.


Deming formulated the following Fourteen Points to cure (eliminate) the Seven Deadly Diseases and help organizations to survive and flourish in the long term:

  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service. Develop a plan to be competitive and stay in business. Everyone in the organization, from top management to shop floor workers, should learn the new philosophy.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. Commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship are now intolerable. We must prevent mistakes.
  3. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Instead, design and build in quality. The purpose of inspection is not to send the product for rework because it does not add value. Instead of leaving the problems for someone else down the production line, workers must take responsibility for their work. Quality has to be designed and built into the product; it cannot be inspected into it. Inspection should be used as an information-gathering device, not as a means of "assuring" quality or blaming workers.
  4. Don't award business on price tag alone (but also on quality, value, speed and long term relationship). Minimize total cost. Many companies and organizations award contracts to the lowest bidder as long as they meet certain requirements. However, low bids do not guarantee quality; and unless the quality aspect is considered, the effective price per unit that a company pays its vendors may be understated and, in some cases, unknown. Deming urged businesses to move toward single-sourcing, to establish long-term relationships with a few suppliers (one supplier per purchased part, for example) leading to loyalty and opportunities for mutual improvement. Using multiple suppliers has been long justified for reasons such as providing protection against strikes or natural disasters or making the suppliers compete against each other on cost. However, this approach has ignored "hidden" costs such as increased travel to visit suppliers, loss of volume discounts, increased set-up charges resulting in higher unit costs, and increased inventory and administrative expenses. Also constantly changing suppliers solely on the base of price increases the variation in the material supplied to production, since each supplier's process is different.
  5. Continuously improve the system of production and service. Management's job is to continuously improve the system with input from workers and management. Deming was a disciple of Walter A. Shewhart, the developer of control charts and the continuous cycle of process improvement known as the Shewhart cycle. Deming popularized the Shewhart Cycle as the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) or Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle; therefore, it is also often referred to as the Deming cycle. In the planning stage, opportunities for improvement are recognized and operationally defined. In the doing stage, the theory and course of action developed in the previous stage is tested on a small scale through conducting trial runs in a laboratory or prototype setting. The results of the testing phase are analyzed in the check/study stage using statistical methods. In the action stage, a decision is made regarding the implementation of the proposed plan. If the results were positive in the pilot stage, then the plan will be implemented. Otherwise alternative plans are developed. After full scale implementation, customer and process feedback will again be obtained and the process of continuous improvement continues.
  6. Institute training on the job. When training is an integral part of the system, operators are better able to prevent defects. Deming understood that employees are the fundamental asset of every company, and they must know and buy into a company's goals. Training enables employees to understand their responsibilities in meeting customers' needs.
  7. Institute leadership (modern methods of supervision). The best supervisors are leaders and coaches, not dictators. Deming high-lighted the key role of supervisors who serve as a vital link between managers and workers. Supervisors first have to be trained in the quality management before they can communicate management's commitment to quality improvement and serve as role models and leaders.
  8. Drive out fear. Create a fear-free environment where everyone can contribute and work effectively. There is an economic loss associated with fear in an organization. Employees try to please their superiors. Also, because they feel that they might lose their jobs, they are hesitant to ask questions about their jobs, production methods, and process parameters. If a supervisor or manager gives the impression that asking such questions is a waste of time, then employees will be more concerned about pleasing their supervisors than meeting long-term goals of the organization. Therefore, creating an environment of trust is a key task of management.
  9. Break down barriers between areas. People should work cooperatively with mutual trust, respect, and appreciation for the needs of others in their work. Internal and external organizational barriers impede the flow of information, prevent entities from perceiving organizational goals, and foster the pursuit of subunit goals that are not necessarily consistent with the organizational goals. Barriers between organizational levels and departments are internal barriers. External barriers are between the company and its suppliers, customers, investors, and community. Barriers can be eliminated through better communication, cross-functional teams, and changing attitudes and cultures.
  10. Eliminate slogans aimed solely at the work force. Most problems are system-related and require managerial involvement to rectify or change. Slogans don't help. Deming believed that people want to do work right the first time. It is the system that 80 to 90 percent of the time prevents people from doing their work right the first time.
  11. Eliminate numerical goals, work standards, and quotas. Objectives set for others can force sub-optimization or defective output in order to achieve them. Instead, learn the capabilities of processes and how to improve them. Numerical goals set arbitrarily by management, especially if they are not accompanied by feasible courses of action, have a demoralizing effect. Goals should be set in a participative style together with methods for accomplishment. Deming argued that the quota or work standard system is a short-term solution and that quotas emphasize quantity over quality. They do not provide data about the process that can be used to meet the quota, and they fail to distinguish between special and common causes when seeking improvements to the process.
  12. Remove barriers that hinder workers (and hinder pride in workmanship). The direct effect of pride in workmanship is increased motivation and a greater ability for employees to see themselves as part of the same team. This pride can be diminished by several factors: (1) management may be insensitive to workers' problems; (2) they may not communicate the company's goals to all levels; and (3) they may blame employees for failing to meet company goals when the real fault lies with the management.
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self improvement. Deming's philosophy is based on long-term, continuous process improvement that cannot be carried out without properly trained and motivated employees. This point addresses the need for ongoing and continuous education and self-improvement for the entire organization. This educational investment serves the following objectives: (1) it leads to better motivated employees; (2) it communicates the company goals to the employees; (3) it keeps the employees up-to-date on the latest techniques and promotes teamwork; (4) training and retraining provides a mechanism to ensure adequate performance as the job responsibilities change; and (5) through increasing job loyalty, it reduces the number of people who "job-hop."
  14. Take action to accomplish the transformation. Create a structure in top management that will promote the previous thirteen points. It is the top management's responsibility to create and maintain a structure for the dissemination of the concepts outlined in the first thirteen points. Deming felt that people at all levels in the organization should learn and apply his Fourteen Points if statistical process control is to be a successful approach to process improvement and if organizations are to be transformed. However, he encouraged top management to learn them first. He believed that these points represent an all-or-nothing commitment and that they cannot be implemented selectively.


Known as the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle, this concept was invented by Shewhart and popularized by Deming. This approach is a cyclic process for planning and testing improvement activities prior to full-scale implementation and/or prior to formalizing the improvement. When an improvement idea is identified, it is often wise to test it on a small scale prior to full implementation to validate its benefit. Additionally, by introducing a change on a small scale, employees have time to accept it and are more likely to support it. The Deming PDCA Cycle provides opportunities for continuous evaluation and improvement.

The steps in the Deming PDCA or PDSA Cycle as shown in Figure 1 are as follows:

  1. Plan a change or test (P).
  2. Do it (D). Carry out the change or test, preferably on a small scale.
  3. Check it (C). Observe the effects of the change or test. Study it (S).
  4. Act on what was learned (A).
  5. Repeat Step 1, with new knowledge.
  6. Repeat Step 2, and onward. Continuously evaluate and improve.

Figure 1 Demings PDCA Cycle
Figure 1
Deming's PDCA Cycle

Deming was trained as a mathematical physicist, and he utilized mathematical concepts and tools (Statistical Process Control) to reduce variation and prevent defects. However, one of his greatest contributions might have been in recognizing the importance of organizational culture and employee attitudes in creating a successful organization. In many ways, his philosophies paralleled the development of the resource-based view of organizations that emphasized that employee knowledge and skills and organizational culture are very difficult to imitate or replicate, and they can serve as a basis of sustainable competitive advantage.


Dr. Juran was born on December 24, 1904 in Braila, Romania. He moved to the United States in 1912 at the age of 8. Juran's teaching and consulting career spanned more than seventy years, known as one of the foremost experts on quality in the world.

A quality professional from the beginning of his career, Juran joined the inspection branch of the Hawthorne Co. of Western Electric (a Bell manufacturing company) in 1924, after completing his B.S. in Electrical Engineering. In 1934, he became a quality manager. He worked with the U. S. government during World War II and afterward became a quality consultant. In 1952, Dr. Juran was invited to Japan. Dr. Edward Deming helped arrange the meeting that led to this invitation and his many years of work with Japanese companies.

Juran founded the Juran Center for Quality Improvement at the University of Minnesota and the Juran Institute. His third book, Juran's Quality Control Handbook, published in 1951, was translated into Japanese. Other books include Juran on Planning for Quality (1988), Juran on Leadership for Quality (1989), Juran on Quality by Design (1992), Quality Planning and Analysis (1993), and A History of Managing for Quality (1995). Architect of Quality (2004) is his autobiography.


Juran's concepts can be used to establish a traditional quality system, as well as to support Strategic Quality Management. Among other things, Juran's philosophy includes the Quality Trilogy and the Quality Planning Roadmap.


The Quality Trilogy emphasizes the roles of quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement. Quality planning's purpose is to provide operators with the ability to produce goods and services that can meet customers' needs. In the quality planning stage, an organization must determine who the customers are and what they need, develop the product or service features that meet customers' needs, develop processes which are able to deliver those products and services, and transfer the plans to the operating forces. If quality planning is deficient, then chronic waste occurs.

Quality control is used to prevent things from getting worse. Quality control is the inspection part of the Quality Trilogy where operators compare actual performance with plans and resolve the differences. Chronic waste should be considered an opportunity for quality improvement, the third element of the Trilogy. Quality improvement encompasses improvement of fitness-for-use and error reduction, seeks a new level of performance that is superior to any previous level, and is attained by applying breakthrough thinking.

While up-front quality planning is what organizations should be doing, it is normal for organizations to focus their first quality efforts on quality control. In this aspect of the Quality Trilogy, activities include inspection to determine percent defective (or first pass yield) and deviations from quality standards. Activities can then focus on another part of the trilogy, quality improvement, and make it an integral part of daily work for individuals and teams.

Quality planning must be integrated into every aspect of the organization's work, such as strategic plans; product, service and process designs; operations; and delivery to the customer. The Quality Trilogy is depicted below in Figure 2.


Juran's Quality Planning Road Map can be used by individuals and teams throughout the world as a checklist for understanding customer requirements, establishing measurements based on customer needs, optimizing

Figure 2 Quality Trilogy Source: J.M. Juran, Juran on Planning for Quality, The Free Press, New York, pp. 11-12.
Figure 2
Quality Trilogy
Source: J.M. Juran, Juran on Planning for Quality, The Free Press, New York, pp. 11-12.
product design, and developing a process that is capable of meeting customer requirements. The Quality Planning Roadmap is used for Product and Process Development and is shown in Figure 3.

Juran's Quality Trilogy and Quality Roadmap are not enough. An infrastructure for Quality must be

Figure 3 Dr. Jurans Quality Planning Roadmap Source: J. M. Juran, Juran on Planning for Quality, The Free Press, NY, 1988, pp.14-15.
Figure 3
Dr. Juran's Quality Planning Roadmap
Source: J. M. Juran, Juran on Planning for Quality, The Free Press, NY, 1988, pp.14-15.
developed, and teams must work on improvement projects. The infrastructure should include a quality steering team with top management leading the effort, quality should become an integral part of the strategic plan, and all people should be involved. As people identify areas with improvement potential, they should team together to improve processes and produce quality products and services.

Under the "Big Q" concept, all people and departments are responsible for quality. In the old era under the concept of "little q," the quality department was responsible for quality. Big "Q" allows workers to regain pride in workmanship by assuming responsibility for quality.

PHILIP CROSBY (1926–2001)

Philip Bayard Crosby was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1926. After Crosby graduated from high school, he joined the Navy and became a hospital corpsman. In 1946 Crosby entered the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. After graduation he returned to Wheeling and practiced podiatry with his father. He was recalled to military service during the Korean conflict, this time he served as a Marine Medical Corpsman.

In 1952 Crosby went to work for the Crosley Corp. in Richmond, Indiana, as a junior electronic test technician. He joined the American Society for Quality, where his early concepts concerning Quality began to form. In 1955, he went to work for Bendix Corp. as a reliability technician and quality engineer. He investigated defects found by the test people and inspectors.

In 1957 he became a senior quality engineer with Martin Marietta Co. in Orlando, Florida. During his eight years with Martin Marietta, Crosby developed his "Zero Defects" concepts, began writing articles for various journals, and started his speaking career.

In 1965 International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) hired Crosby as vice president in charge of corporate quality. During his fourteen years with ITT, Crosby worked with many of the world's largest industrial and service companies, implementing his pragmatic management philosophy, and found that it worked.

After a number of years in industry, Crosby established the Crosby Quality College in Winter Park, Florida. He is well known as an author and consultant and has written many articles and books. He is probably best known for his book Quality is Free (1979) and concepts such as his Absolutes of Quality Management, Zero Defects, Quality Management Maturity Grid, 14 Quality Improvement Steps, Cost of Quality, and Cost of Nonconformance. Other books he has written include Quality Without Tears (1984) and Completeness (1994).

Attention to customer requirements and preventing defects is evident in Crosby's definitions of quality and "non-quality" as follows: "Quality is conformance to requirements; non-quality is nonconformance."


In his book Quality Is Free, Crosby makes the point that it costs money to achieve quality, but it costs more money when quality is not achieved. When an organization designs and builds an item right the first time (or provides a service without errors), quality is free. It does not cost anything above what would have already been spent. When an organization has to rework or scrap an item because of poor quality, it costs more. Crosby discusses Cost of Quality and Cost of Nonconformance or Cost of Nonquality. The intention is spend more money on preventing defects and less on inspection and rework.


Crosby espoused his basic theories about quality in four Absolutes of Quality Management as follows:

  1. Quality means conformance to requirements, not goodness.
  2. The system for causing quality is prevention, not appraisal.
  3. The performance standard must be zero defects, not "that's close enough."
  4. The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance, not indexes.

To support his Four Absolutes of Quality Management, Crosby developed the Quality Management Maturity Grid and Fourteen Steps of Quality Improvement. Crosby sees the Quality Management Maturity Grid as a first step in moving an organization towards quality management. After a company has located its position on the grid, it implements a quality improvement system based on Crosby's Fourteen Steps of Quality Improvement as shown in Figure 4.

Crosby's Absolutes of Quality Management are further delineated in his Fourteen Steps of Quality Improvement as shown below:

Step 1. Management Commitment

Step 2. Quality Improvement Teams

Step 3. Quality Measurement

Step 4. Cost of Quality Evaluation

Step 5. Quality Awareness

Step 6. Corrective Action

Figure 4 Crosbys Quality Management Maturity Grid Source: Philip B. Crosby, Quality Is Free, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1979, pp. 38-39.
Figure 4
Crosby's Quality Management Maturity Grid
Source: Philip B. Crosby, Quality Is Free, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1979, pp. 38-39.

Step 7. Zero-Defects Planning

Step 8. Supervisory Training

Step 9. Zero Defects

Step 10. Goal Setting

Step 11. Error Cause Removal

Step 12. Recognition

Step 13. Quality Councils

Step 14. Do It All Over Again


Feigenbaum was still a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he completed the first edition of Total Quality Control (1951). An engineer at General Electric during World War II, Feigenbaum used statistical techniques to determine what was wrong with early jet airplane engines. For ten years he served as manager of worldwide manufacturing operations and quality control at GE. Feigenbaum serves as president of General Systems Company, Inc., Pittsfield, Massachusetts, an international engineering firm that designs and installs integrated operational systems for major corporations in the United States and abroad.

Feigenbaum was the founding chairman of the International Academy for Quality and is a past president of the American Society for Quality Control, which presented him its Edwards Medal and Lancaster Award for his contributions to quality and productivity. His Total Quality Control concepts have had a very positive impact on quality and productivity for many organizations throughout the industrialized world.


An author and consultant in the area of process improvement, Harrington spent forty years with IBM. His career included serving as Senior Engineer and Project Manager of Quality Assurance for IBM, San Jose, California. He was President of Harrington, Hurd and Reicker, a well-known performance improvement consulting firm until Ernst & Young bought the organization. He is the international quality advisor for Ernst and Young and on the board of directors of various national and international companies.

Harrington served as president and chairman of the American Society for Quality and the International Academy for Quality. In addition, he has been elected as an honorary member of six quality associations outside of North America and was selected for the Singapore Hall of Fame. His books include The Improvement Process, Business Process Improvement, Total Improvement Management, ISO 9000 and Beyond, Area Activity Analysis, The Creativity Toolkit, Statistical Analysis Simplified, The Quality/Profit Connection, and High Performance Benchmarking.

DR. KAORU ISHIKAWA (1915–1989)

A professor of engineering at the University of Tokyo and a student of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Ishikawa was active in the quality movement in Japan, and was a member of the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers. He was awarded the Deming Prize, the Nihon Keizai Press Prize, and the Industrial Standardization Prize for his writings on quality control, and the Grant Award from the American Society for Quality Control for his educational program on quality control.

Ishikawa's book, Guide to Quality Control (1982), is considered a classic because of its in-depth explanations of quality tools and related statistics. The tool for which he is best known is the cause and effect diagram. Ishikawa is considered the Father of the Quality Circle Movement. Letters of praise from representatives of companies for which he was a consultant were published in his book What Is Total Quality Control? (1985). Those companies include IBM, Ford, Bridgestone, Komatsu Manufacturing, and Cummins Engine Co.

Ishikawa believed that quality improvement initiatives must be organization-wide in order to be successful and sustainable over the long term. He promoted the use of Quality Circles to: (1) Support improvement; (2) Respect human relations in the workplace; (3) Increase job satisfaction; and (4) More fully recognize employee capabilities and utilize their ideas. Quality Circles are effective when management understands statistical techniques and act on recommendations from members of the Quality Circles.

DR. WALTER A. SHEWHART (1891–1967)

A statistician who worked at Western Electric, Bell Laboratories, Dr. Walter A. Shewhart used statistics to explain process variability. It was Dr. W. Edward Deming who publicized the usefulness of control charts, as well as the Shewhart Cycle. However, Deming rightfully credited Shewhart with the development of theories of process control as well as the Shewhart transformation process on which the Deming PDCA (Plan-Do-Check or Study-Act) Cycle is based. Shewhart's theories were first published in his book Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product (1931).

SHIGEO SHINGO (1919–1990)

One of the world's leading experts on improving the manufacturing process, Shigeo Shingo created, with Taiichi Ohno, many of the features of just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing methods, systems, and processes, which constitute the Toyota Production System. He has written many books including A Study of the Toyota Production System From An Industrial Engineering Viewpoint (1989), Revolution in Manufacturing: The SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die) System (1985), and Zero Quality Control: Source Inspection and the Poka Yoke System (1986).

Shingo's greatness seems to be based on his ability to understand exactly why products are manufactured the way they are, and then transform that understanding into a workable system for low-cost, high quality production. Established in 1988, the Shingo Prize is the premier manufacturing award in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers, Utah State University administers the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, which promotes world class manufacturing and recognizes companies that excel in productivity and process improvement, quality enhancement, and customer satisfaction.

Rather than focusing on theory, Shingo focused on practical concepts that made an immediate difference. Specific concepts attributed to Shingo are:


An industrial (efficiency) engineer, manager, and consultant, Frederick Taylor is known as the Father of Scientific Management. In 1911, he published The Principles of Scientific Management. Taylor believed in task specialization and is noted for his time and motion studies. Some of his ideas are the predecessors for modern industrial engineering tools and concepts that are used in cycle time reduction.

While quality experts would agree that Taylor's concepts increase productivity, some argue that his concepts are focused on productivity, not process improvement and as a result could cause less emphasis on quality. Dr. Joseph Juran said that Taylor's concepts made the United States the world leader in productivity. However, the Taylor system required separation of planning work from executing the work. This separation was based on the idea that engineers should do the planning because supervisors and workers were not educated. Today, the emphasis is on transferring planning to the people doing the work.


Dr. Genichi Taguchi was a Japanese engineer and statistician who defined what product specification means and how this can be translated into cost effective production. He worked in the Japanese Ministry of Public Health and Welfare, Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Ministry of Education. He also worked with the Electrical Communications Laboratory of the Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Co. to increase the productivity of the R&D activities.

In the mid 1950s Taguchi was Indian Statistical Institute visiting professor, where he met Walter Shewhart. He was a Visiting Research Associate at Princeton University in 1962, the same year he received his Ph.D. from Kyushu University. He was a Professor at Tokyo's Aoyama Gakuin University and Director of the Japanese Academy of Quality.

Taguchi was awarded the Deming Application prize (1960), Deming awards for literature on quality (1951, 1953, and 1984), Willard F. Rockwell Medal by the International Technologies Institute (1986).

Taguchi's contributions are in robust design in the area of product development. The Taguchi Loss Function, The Taguchi Method (Design of Experiments), and other methodologies have made major contributions in the reduction of variation and greatly improved engineering quality and productivity. By consciously considering the noise factors (environmental variation during the product's usage, manufacturing variation, and component deterioration) and the cost of failure in the field, Taguchi methodologies help ensure customer satisfaction.

Robust Design focuses on improving the fundamental function of the product or process, thus facilitating flexible designs and concurrent engineering. Taguchi product development includes three stages: (1) system design (the non-statistical stage for engineering, marketing, customer and other knowledge); (2) parameter stage (determining how the product should perform against defined parameters; and (3) tolerance design (finding the balance between manufacturing cost and loss).

SEE ALSO: Quality and Total Quality Management

Mildred Golden Pryor


Crosby, Philip. Completeness. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1994.

——. Quality is Free. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1979.

——. Quality & Me: Lessons from an Evolving Life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1999.

——. Quality without Tears. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1984.

Deming, W. Edwards. The New Economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study, 1993.

——. Out of the Crisis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study, 1986.

——. Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position. Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study, 1982.

Feigenbaum, Armand V. Total Quality Control. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1991.

Gitlow, Howard S., Alan J. Oppenheim, Rosa Oppenheim, and David M. Levine. Quality Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2005.

Harrington, H. James. "The $7,000 SNAFU: Confronting the 'Not My Problem' Response to Customer Service." Quality Digest, February 2004.

——. Business Process Improvement: The Breakthrough Strategy for Total Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1991.

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User Contributions:

I like this notion of 8 pprlciines. Once a business becomes established it becomes streamlined for efficiency and although quality is generalized and maintained it inevitably slacks, leaving the consumer less affected by the end product/output and leaving the producer/business susceptible to usurpation. Streamlining is key in business, so having a process like your 8 dimensions can effectively keep quality managed.

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