Experts like W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran, William E. Conway and Philip B. Crosby recognize that there is no shortcut to quality and that the improvement process is a never-ending cycle requiring the efforts of all people at all levels of an organization.
So, let’s take a look at what these experts have to say about improving quality.
Dr Edward Deming was an American professor and statistician who was best known for driving the Japanese business to the number one place in the world, in terms of quality.
Today, the highest quality award in Japan is named after him, the Deming Award.
Deming believed that good quality does not necessarily mean high quality. Rather, quality is more about giving exactly what the customer wants.
So, in the final analysis, if the customer is satisfied, it means you were successful in providing quality.
Put in an equation and you have: Quality is Customer Satisfaction.
Deming’s basic philosophy of quality is that productivity improves as variability decreases. He said that judging quality requires knowledge of the “statistical evidence of Quality”.
Let’s take a look at Deming’s 14 points of management:
1. Create consistency of purpose in the improvement of product and service
2. A new philosophy should be implemented. This world can no longer consist of commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship.
3. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built-in.
4. The principle of awarding a business on the basis of price tag should be banned.
5. Problems should be anlyzed . The management department has the responsibility to work continually on the system.
6. Invest in modern methods of “training on the job”.
7. Invest in modern methods of supervision for production workers. The responsibility of foremen must be changed. Emphasize more on quality rather than numbers.
8. Only when fear is driven out will that everyone be able to work effectively for the company.
9. Barriers shoudl nto exist between departments.
10. Numerical goals, posters, and slogans for the workforce asking for new levels of productivity without providing methods should be absolutely banned.
11.All those work standards that prescribe numerical quotas should be eliminated.
12. Remove barriers that stand between the hourly worker and his right to pride of workmanship.
13. Invest in a vigorous program of education and retraining.
14. Create a structure in top management that will every day promote the above-mentioned 13 points.
Juran’s 10 Steps to Quality Improvement
If you go back to the 1940s, you’d have Joseph M. Juran, a Romanian management consultant who pointed out that the technical aspects of quality control had been well covered, but that firms did not know how to manage quality.
According to him, there are two types of quality: “Fitness for use” and “conformance to specifications”.
Today, the Juran Institute teaches a project-by-project, problem-solving, team method of quality improvement, in which upper management must be involved:
1. Raise awareness about the urgent need for improvement.
2. Set goals for improvement.
3. Better planning should be made to reach the goals (establish a quality council, identify problems, select projects, appoint teams, designate facilitators).
4. Provide training.
5. Carry out projects to solve problems.
6. Report progress.
7. Give recognition.
8. Communicate results.
9. Keep score.
10. Momentum can only be maintained by making annual improvement part of the regular systems and processes of the company.
Crosby’s 14 Steps to Quality Improvement
Compared to the conventional belief, Philip B. Crosby goes ahead by claiming that t prevention is the only system that can be utilized.
This quality expert came up with the concept of Zero Defects in the early 1960’s.
According to his definition, quality is “conformance to requirements,” and it can only be measured by the cost of non-conformance. “Don’t talk about poor quality or high quality. Talk about conformance and nonconformance,” he says. For him, Quality is all about “Prevention”.
1. The fact that management is committed to quality should always be made clear.
2. Form Quality Improvement teams with representatives from each department.
3. Determine where current and potential problems lie.
4. The cost of quality should be identified and its use should be explained as a management tool.
5. Spread quality awareness and personal concern of all employees.
6. Actions should be taken to correct problems identified through the previous step.
7. Establish a committee for the zero-defects program.
8. Managers should be trained to actively carry out their part of the quality improvement program.
9. Hold a ‘zero defect day’ to let all workers realize that there has been a change.
10. Encourage individuals to establish improvement goals for themselves and their groups.
11. Encourage employees to communicate to management the obstacles they face in attaining their improvement goals.
12. Recognize and appreciate those who participate.
13. Establish quality councils to communicate on a regular basis.
14. Do it all over again to emphasize that the quality improvement program never ends.
How far do you agree with these philosophies?