Today we are continuing our blog series on Joseph Juran, “Architect of Quality,” by looking at a trio of concepts he was famous for incorporating into quality management. Quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement are three central tenets to his management philosophy and became widely known as the Juran Quality Trilogy.1
The first of these concepts, quality planning, defines who the customers are and identifies how to meet their needs.2 These customers include the actual end-user of the product, of course, but also other functions within the company. For example, if you’re a design engineer writing a specification or creating a CAD drawing for a particular part, you design the product with the person who will buy it in mind. Along the way you have other customers – those who rely on your drawings and specifications to make sure they manufacture the correct product and inspect it to the tolerances you specify before it leaves the manufacturing facility and is sold to the end-user. The person who ultimately buys the product needs it to function safely and effectively, and in order for that to happen those drawings and specifications need to be clear and correct.
Quality control evaluates the product development process to see how well the customers’ needs are being met.2 Quality control employs various methods, often statistical in nature, to prove that the process functions as intended with minimal inspection or interference along the way. Broad categories of statistical quality control methods include descriptive statistics, statistical process control, and acceptance sampling.3
As you would expect, quality improvement focuses on making processes better by investigating changes an organization can make to more effectively meet the customers’ needs.2 Many quality improvement techniques exist covering process, product, and human resource improvement. One commonly used quality improvement system is Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a highly regarded strategy for process improvement and problem reduction focusing on identifying and removing causes of errors and minimizing variability. Some of the methods employed by Six Sigma include statistical process control and design of experiments (DOE).
The concepts in the Juran Quality Trilogy link quality to finance and management, providing an effective way for quality professionals to communicate with managers about the cost of poor quality and the benefits of maintaining and improving product quality.2 Joseph Juran believed that “quality does not happen by accident”4 and the practices he developed paved the way for the active pursuit of quality in business and product development, thus earning him the title “Architect of Quality.”
- Juran, Joseph M. (2004), Architect of Quality: The Autobiography of Dr. Joseph M. Juran (1 ed.), New York City: McGraw-Hill.
- Best, Mark, and Duncan Neuhauser. “Joseph Juran: Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change.” Quality and Safety in Health Care. 2006 October; 15(5): 380–382.
- Reid, R. Dan, Nada R. Sanders. (2007), Operations Management: An Integrated Approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Swinton, Lyndsay. "Joseph Juran - The Quality Trilogy." Mftrou.com. December 2004. < http://www.mftrou.com/joseph-juran.html>.