The traditional view of quality is of’ men in white coats’ at the end of the production line checking finished articles to see that they come up to standard. If the standards are not met, the material is reworked or thrown away. This is still how quality is perceived in many organisations.
The finished product is either accepted or rejected. If errors are discovered, the reason is investigated to eliminate the problem. This is a reactive approach to quality – Wait until something goes wrong and then try to fix it.’
One of the three leading Quality gurus is Joseph M Juran. His focus was upon the need for all managers to engage in quality activities. Indeed, he advocates a major focus on staff involvement in quality assurance and problem solving.
Juran defines quality as ‘fitness for use or purpose’. He believes that projects are required to improve quality.
Although this is a matter of some debate, Juran’s important contribution to the quality debate is the assertion that quality must be managed.
Joseph M Juran’s 10 steps to quality
1. Create awareness of the need and opportunity for quality improvement.
2. Set goals for continuous improvement.
3. Build an organisation to achieve goals by establishing a quality council, identifying problems, selecting a project, appointing teams and choosing facilitators.
4. Give everyone training.
5. Carry out projects to solve problems.
6. Report progress.
7. Show recognition.
8. Communicate results.
9. Keep a record of successes.
10. Incorporate annual improvements into the company/s regular systems and processes and thereby maintain momentum.