Definition Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance - The difference according to Juran


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Years ago I was taught the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance. The ASQC addressed their issue by dropping the word 'Control' from its name a few years back.

Many argue that Juran is strictly a Quality Control 'guru'. What's your 'vision' of Juran?
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Al Dyer

I just wonder why the new versions of Jurans book are still titled Quality Control?

I believe that Juran quit most parts of his "empire" about 20 years ago with other people/authors taking over the reigns.

Juran believed so much in the Japanese process of eternal employment, teamwork, socialism, it makes me wonder why now the Japanese economy is in ruins, the dollar is strong, and automotive sales in the U.S. are through the roof.

Today, workers in Japan are being layed off, which begs the question, is it the money or the process.

Hell, Japan automakers believe very little in even SPC. Maybe the U.S. auto industry, and others, are finally starting to realize that if you have a good process you will have a good product.

Deming, Juran, Crosby, Harrington, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

1st post in new forum so bear with me!


Jim Biz

I could never figure out why it was titled "JURAN'S Quality Control Handbook either

Name index list 13 PAGES of contributors with varying points of view. PLUS is I actually used it as a "handbook" I'd need a cart to haul it around with:D


Ps - I vision it as an overview of a wide variety of management assurance principals... and do use it as a reference often enough to keep one in my desk.
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Kevin Mader

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First, my thoughts on Juran: interesting query, Marc. In reading “Quality Planning and Analysis”, I got the impression that he was very much into measuring things and the control aspect. Many formulas and calculations throughout the book. Still, in this book and the Quality Handbook, he has chapters written about prevention and strategic quality planning (written by him, not a support author). Admittedly, I don’t recall that they were very strong or dominant on the topic of prevention or improvement.

As far as Japan’s economic woes: in any country, as your currency gains in strength, the tendency is to buy things from other countries where your dollar, yen, whatever will go farther. Japanese consumers began to buy products not made in Japan (and evidently, not made here either, i.e. trade deficit). The loss of domestic consumer spending hurt. As the dollar gains strength here in the US, the same will (is?) happen here. It is a cyclic event. In addition to this phenomenon, Japan made very poor investments and overextended itself. Automation and efficiency actually were far more successful than originally anticipated as were the Quality of their products (cars, electronics). As such, expansions made by many organizations provided more capacity than the World demand required. Hence, many organizations were too large and efficient and returned to manual labor (where feasible and practical) while the workforce incurred layoffs that were thought to be unheard of. Out of workfolks began to spend less as a means of survival worsening an already down turned domestic spending. Combined with the early 90s worldwide mini recession, the combination of these oversights and required cutbacks proved to be more costly and caused an extended recession in Japan. Many contend that this collapse was as a result of TQM, Hoshin, and Japanese Management. I disagree. While management has the responsibility and obligation to look forward into the future and provide constancy of purpose for the organization, its employees, and customers, they had stumbled into something never before seen. They were caught by surprise. They also did not have the increased level of immigrants (no surprise as it is already an overcrowded nation) enjoyed by many nations, but none more than the US. The worldwide reductions in births will effect all of us in the near future, but countries like Japan and Italy will be effected worse.

However, my money is on the Japanese not to make a mistake of this magnitude and continue to widen the gap between the rest of the world on Quality. I think that they would take that bet on two grounds: arrogance and confidence.




Juran's Managerial Breakthrough

It's easy to talk without enough information.
In his book Managerial Breakthrough, Dr. Juran explain very, very well the differences between CONTROL, PLANNING AND IMPROVEMENT.
If we understand the three concepts above, we can understand why the Handbook is for Quality Control.
Dr. Ishikawa named the quality in Japan as JAPAN'S TOTAL QUALITY CONTROL as Dr. Feigembaun did.
For Dr. Deming, quality is the overall management system (not differences with other management sytems). His Theory of Profound Knowledge is a master piece of what quality and management are.
Respectfully to all of you and to the Gurus,
Reinaldo Ramirez

Al Dyer


Good post.

Marc, feel free to make this another topic as you see fit.

I can honestly say that I have never read the entire book cover to cover, for me and I assume most of us, it is a reference guide.

The chapter that sticks out in my mind is Quality Cost. Is was a good start for me in defining my goals as to what Quality Cost should be. I say start because I think there are many other variables that can be taken into account when designing the system. And each company will probably have different variables based on their dynamics and goals.

Another good use for me is in setting up basic training classes in Quality Assurance. I surely would not put the book in fornt of a novice but when used correctly it has lead me in designing some applicable basic courses.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member

Perhaps you could do a book review on Dr. Juran's book, Managerial Breakthrough in the Book Review forum.

While my reading of Juran is limited to the two books noted above and a handful of papers he has published, and, with a quick glance at both books at my desk, I still get the feel of Control more so than Assurance.

Juran places a heavier emphasis on Inspection activities than do his Japanese contemporaries or Deming, in my opinion. Perhaps this is why I get the feel of 'Control' as opposed to 'Assurance'. Still, it is important to note that Inspection is a necessary function in organizations today, and their books make important contributions in defining roles and plans in these areas. I haven't found many better, and in fact, none come to mind.

Feigenbaum's book, Total Quality Control, is an excellent book. He has done an equal job in presenting Quality as an organizational objective (better in my opinion) and uses a similar Trilogy like presentation in this book. Still, I get the impression of Inspection with the attention given to Inspection Planning, Sampling, and other Technical areas.

Perhaps this is due to the era in which these books were written. These books date back to the early 50s and 70s with updated revisions and later editions. Perhaps it is due to the context of when I read these books, where I was working closely in the world of Inspection. At any rate, it is the perception I have.




QA and QC

Basically the differences between QA and QC are:

Being built in a Product Inspected in a Product

Prevention based Detection based

Process oriented Product Oriented
Phase building activity End Phase Activity

All staff at all levels are Inspectors / testers are responsible are responsible

The concept of quality assurance evolved during the late 80's and thereafter. Initially people were assuring quality without calling them as quality assurance.

Dr.Juran is called Qaulity Guru along with Deming and PhilCrosby.

Certainly nothing in a name. The concepts are improtant for anyn book. May be the publisher can add the word "and quality assurance


QA: Quality assurance is a system which applies or designed or formulated to have a finished or ultimate product or result in accordance to the pre decided specifications.
QC: Is an intermediate system, individual system which applies at various level of processing/ production of a product or job.
Example: Say a road is to be constructed and one has to procure aggregate. Aggregate must be of specified quality, for this one has to make tests and the process of such testing may be defined QC. The process of QC will apply to all intermediate stage. And the whole process of QC up to finishing stage to achieve the desired or pre decided quality of finished road is known as QUALITY ASSURANCE.
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