Now that I have introduced myself (see: Who I Am and What I Do) let’s take a look at some of the other players.
Walter A. Shewhart (1891-1967)
Walter Andrew Shewhart was a shining star in the quality movement during the first half of the 20th century. While working for Western Electric located in Hawthorne, IL, his work focused on reduction of variation and charts and altered the course of industrial history, led a quality revolution and launched the quality profession. Shewhart defined the problem of process variability in terms of assignable and chance causes. In 1924, he set forth the essential principles of controlling variation through the application of control charts.
Shewhart explained that bringing a process into a state of statistical control would allow the distinction between assignable and chance cause variations. By keeping the process in control, it would be possible to predict future output and to economically manage processes. This was the birth of the modern scientific study of process control.
In 1931, he published his book, “Economist Control of Quality of Manufactured Product” which challenged the inspection-based approach to quality and introduced the modern era of quality management. Up until this time, statistical process control was largely a Bell Telephone quality tool. Shewhart’s book popularized statistical control.
W. Edwards Deming worked as an intern at the Hawthorne Plant where he became interested in Shewhart’s work. Shewhart and Deming had a long relationship of collaboration. Deming continued to champion Shewhart’s ideas, methodologies and theories throughout his career. While working with Japan, Deming further developed some of Shewhart’s methodological proposals of scientific inference, which had been named the Shewhart Cycle and was represented by the plan-do-check-act elements.
Harold F. Dodge (1893-1976)
Harold F. Dodge was one of the principal architects of the science of statistical quality control. He is universally known for his work in originating acceptance sampling plans for putting inspection operations on a scientific basis in terms of controllable risks.
The Dodge-Romig Sampling Inspection Tables, developed with Harry G. Romig in the early 1930s and published in 1940. Dodge worked with Walter Shewhart, George Edwards, Harry Romig, R.L. Jones, Paul Olmstead, E.G.D. Paterson, and Mary N. Torrey, developing the basic concepts of acceptance sampling, such as consumer’s risk, producer’s risk, double sampling, lot tolerance percent defective (LTPD), and average outgoing quality limit (AOQL). He originated several types of acceptance sampling schemes, CSP type continuous sampling plans, chain sampling plans, and skip-lot sampling plans.
During World War II, Dodge served as a consultant to the Secretary of War, and was chairman of the American Standards Association (now the American National Standards Institute) War Committee Z1, which prepared the Z1.1, Z1.2, and Zl.3 quality control standards. Dodge was one of a small group that developed Army Ordnance standard sampling tables, and he was an instructor in more than 30 quality control training conferences for Army Ordnance. Hechaired the ASQ Standards Committee for many years, and was chairman of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E-11 on statistical methods.
William Edwards Deming (1900-1993)
W. Edwards Deming was an American statistician, author, lecturer, professor and management consultant. Perhaps he is best known for his work in Japan after World War II when the Department of Defense (DoD) asked his help in the rebuilding of their industries. From 1950 forward, Deming taught management how to improve design, product quality and testing through various methods, including the application of statistical application.
Deming’s great legacy was that he opened the way for quality and statistical thinking in Japan, and later to American companies such as Ford Motor Co. Deming made a significant contribution to Japan’s reputation for innovative high-quality products and its emergence as an economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other person of non-Japanese heritage.
Deming is considered a folk hero in Japan because of the impact of his work. His influence was so significant that it is considered to have significant influence on Japan’s third wave of industrial revolution. The Japanese government showed their appreciation for his work by honoring Deming with an imperial award, the Order of the Sacred Treasure,and establishing an award in his name, the Deming Prize.
Deming left a legacy that lives on in his documented works. He founded the W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness at Columbia Business School to promote operational excellence in business through the development of research, best practices and strategic planning.
Joseph M. Juran (1904-2008)
Joseph Moses Juran had a profound impact on not only the lives of countless individuals, but on nations of the world as he spread the gospel of total quality. No other person was able to capture the essence of quality as a total effort. Juran has been called the father of quality and referred to as the greatest quality giant of the 20th century. Perhaps, more importantly, he is recognized as the person who influenced the addition of the human dimension to quality, broadening it from its statistical origin to the more comprehensive total quality management.
In 1924 he accepted a position in the inspection group at Western Electric, a division of AT&T, in Hawthorne, IL. He rose to inspection division chief in just five years. During this time he wrote the first known text on statistical quality control-and the ancestor of today’s widely used “Western Electric Statistical Quality Control Handbook.”
During World War II, Juran served the Department of Defense (DoD) as assistant administrator of the Lend-Lease Program. After the war he did not go back to Western Electric but went forward to create history and a legacy for generations of quality professionals.
In 1946 Juran, along with several other notables, founded the American Society for Quality Control. He developed what has been called the foremost influential course on quality. His “managing for quality” has been taught to thousands of people in almost every country of the world.
In 1954 he conducted seminars for Japan’s senior and middle managers, explaining the roles they had to play in promoting quality. Juran was invited back many times and his teachings were so inspirational to the Japanese people that a temple was named in his honor. He also was honored with Japan’s highest award that can be given to a non-Japanese, the Order of the Sacred Treasure. It was awarded in recognition of his contribution to “the development of quality control in Japan and the facilitation of U.S. and Japanese friendship.
Armand V. Feigenbaum (1922-2014)
Armand Vallin (Val) Feigenbaum was an American quality expert, academic, author and businessman.
He was one of the first quality professionals to be able to speak the language of management by using financial performance as a process indicator (CoPQ or the Cost of Poor Quality).
Early practitioners of quality theories and principles focused on inspection and statistical sampling or the use of statistics for process control. Feigenbaum, however, was the first to define a systems approach to quality.Feigenbaum’s ideas are contained in his book “Total Quality Control,” first published in 1951 under the title “Quality Control: Principles, Practice, and Administration.” This book and his related contributions is why Feigenbaum has been called the father of quality management and is widely recognized as a quality guru.
Total quality control, known today as total quality management (TQM), is one of the foundations of modern management and has been widely accepted as a viable operating philosophy across various industry sectors. The integration of previous concepts and methods of quality control into a systematic discipline are what made his work so significant.
Philip B. Crosby (1926-2001)
Philip Bayard Crosby was a legend in the quality movement and was considered one of the leading authorities on the subject. He was a businessman, quality professional, author, trainer and management consultant.
After serving in World War II and Korea, Crosby began his career as a quality professional. After working as a test engineer at Crosley Corp and a reliability technician at Bendix Corp., he joined Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin, in 1957 as a senior quality engineer. This began the development of his zero defect concepts and his writing and speaking on this topic.
Where Juran, Deming and Feigenbaum orchestrated the quality revolution, Crosby was a ‘lyricist’ who excelled in finding ways to describe quality that everyone could understand.
Crosby’s first book, “Quality is Free,” has been credited with beginning a quality revolution in the United States and Europe. He popularized Feigenbaum’s idea of the cost of poor quality and showed management that doing things wrong made costs skyrocket. More importantly, he showed that management was the root cause of these problems. The book set off a revolution in corporate thinking because it shifted the responsibility for the quality of goods and services from the quality department to Senior Management.
*The Kilpatrick Group would like to thank Quality Magazine and ASQ for their contributions.