Although several individuals (mentioned above) contributed to the concept of TQM, the three mostly widely cited “masters” of quality are W. Edwards Deming (1900–1993), Joseph M. Juran, and Philip Crosby. Even though each has promoted the importance of quality emphasis, their ideas and backgrounds are not always consistent.
Joseph Juran started out professionally as an engineer in 1924. In 1951, his first Quality Control Handbook was published and led him to international prominence.
The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) invited Juran to Japan in the early 1950s. He arrived in 1954 and conducted seminars for top‐ and middle‐level executives. His lectures had a strong managerial flavor and focused on planning, organizational issues, management's responsibility for quality, and the need to set goals and targets for improvement. He emphasized that quality control should be conducted as an integral part of management control.
Intrinsic to Juran's message is the belief that quality does not happen by accident; it must be planned. Juran sees quality planning as part of the quality trilogy of quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement. The key elements in implementing company‐wide strategic quality planning are in turn seen as: identifying customers and their needs; establishing optimal quality goals; creating measurements of quality; planning processes capable of meeting quality goals under operating conditions; and producing continuing results in improved market share, premium prices, and a reduction of error rates in the office and factory.
Juran's formula for results is to establish specific goals to be reached, and then to establish plans for reaching those goals; assign clear responsibility for meeting the goals; and base the rewards on results achieved.
Juran believes that the majority of quality problems are the fault of poor management, not poor workmanship, and that long‐term training to improve quality should start at the top with senior management.
Philip Crosby is another major contributor to the quality movement. In 1979, he left ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph) and wrote his book, Quality is Free, in which he argues that dollars spent on quality and the attention paid to it always return greater benefits than the costs expended on them. Whereas Deming and Juran emphasized the sacrifice required for a quality commitment, Crosby takes a less philosophical and more practical approach, asserting instead that high quality is relatively easy and inexpensive in the long run.
Crosby is the only American quality expert without a doctorate. He is responsible for the zero defects program, which emphasizes “doing it right the first time,” (DIRFT) with 100 percent acceptable output. Unlike Deming and Juran, Crosby argues that quality is always cost effective. Like Deming and Juran, Crosby does not place the blame on workers, but on management.
Crosby also developed a 14‐point program, which is again more practical than philosophical. It provides managers with actual concepts that can help them manage productivity and quality. His program is built around four Absolutes of Quality Management:
- Quality must be viewed as conformance to specifications. If a product meets design specifications, then it is a high‐quality product.
- Quality should be achieved through the prevention of defects rather than inspection after the production process is complete.
- According to Crosby, the traditional quality control approach taken by American firms is not cost effective. Instead, production workers should be granted the authority and responsibility to ensure that quality goods or services are produced at every step of the process.
- Managers need to demonstrate that a higher standard of performance can lead to perfection—to zero defects. Crosby believed that the company goal should be zero defects.
- Quality should be measured by the price of nonconformity. Crosby contends that the costs associated with achieving quality should be part of a company's financial system.