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Dr. Joseph Juran was born in Romania on 24 December 1904, emigrated to America 1912 and began as an engineer in 1924. Dr. Juran published his seminal work "Quality Control Handbook" in 1951 and was a professor at New York University. Like Demning, travelled to Japan in the mid 1950's to conduct top and middle level executive seminars on planning, organisational issues, management responsibilities for quality and the need to set and monitor improvement target goals.

His concepts of "Breakthrough", "The Internal Customer" and the "Quality Trilogy" did much to build on the foundation of business improvement established by the other quality gurus. Expanded on the use of Pareto analysis for effective problem targeting, "cost of quality" and the concept of company "quality councils".

Juran maintained that quality was intrinsically linked to product satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Satisfaction in this context was the superior performance or features, where as the dissatisfaction was the deficiencies or defects in the product or service. These two distinct areas were concerned with matching customer requirements (the external dimension) and building the product or service correctly (the internal dimension).

Juran's well known definition, "Fit for purpose" needs further clarification. For whose purpose and what's the real purpose. As there are many customers both internal and external to the business, Juran maintained that quality begins with who, how and why these customers will use it, without this information any improvement will be guesswork. Illustrating this point by stating a dangerous product could meet all specifications and still not be fit for use. More recently, his "Big Q" concept of quality not being just about manufacturing but extends across organisational links and onto the customers.

Internal Customer

Juran realised that the customer was not just the end customer and that each person along the chain has an internal customer, and as such is supplier to the next in the chain. Therefore Juran maintained that at each stage was a "Three role model": supplier, process and customer. The "three role model" represents a breaking down of the complete cycle into numerous opportunities for ongoing process and business improvement. Emphasising that quality improvements can be identified and achieved throughout the complete cycle from the original customer need through to the receiving external customer.

By exploring the complete lifecycle, Juran points out that the "big picture" must include suppliers and in so doing brings into the equation Purchasing and Sub-contract as prime elements to maintaining product quality (essential when prime contractorships are involved). Expanding this argument, he rightly states that, "a single source can more easily neglect to sharpen its competitive edge, cost and service", but goes on to temper it with a hands-on team approach to vendors being more productive than a adversarial one.

By accepting that the cycle starts and ends with the customer, it can seen how important the concept is.

Cost of Quality

The cost of quality, or not getting it right first time, Juran maintained should be recorded and analysed and classified into failure costs, appraisal costs and prevention costs.

  • Failure Costs - Scrap, rework, corrective actions, warranty claims, customer complaints and loss of customers
  • Appraisal Costs - Inspection, compliance auditing and investigations
  • Prevention Costs - Training, preventive auditing and process improvement implementation

Quality Trilogy

Quality trilogy

Juran's view is that, "Quality does not happen by accident it must be planned". Seeing quality planning as the three elements of Quality Planning, Quality Control and Quality Improvement running parallel to budgeting, cost control and cost reduction. Stating that planning's key elements required to implement a company-wide strategy were to identify customer needs, define quality goals, identify and implement quality metrics, planning process capability, and continually monitor results to reduced manufacturing and non-manufacturing errors. All this supports his theory that quality is not free and there is a point where conformance is more costly than the value of the quality obtained.

Quality Planning Road Map

  1. Identify customers.
  2. Determine customer needs.
  3. Translate customer needs into specifications.
  4. Develop product or service to meet customer needs.
  5. Optimize product or service features and characteristics.
  6. Develop process capabilities to produce product or service.
  7. Prove process.
  8. Productionise process.

Quality Council

A body typically comprising senior management with the responsibility for project managing the quality improvements. The council would set targets, run needs analysis for training and equipment, cost of quality measurement, co-ordination and liaise between groups and management levels. Essentially become the focal point of the quality improvement culture within the business organisation as they improve communication and breakdown interdepartmental or functional boundaries.

The breakthrough concept

Like the Deming cycle, Juran's breakthrough concerns itself with the product/service life cycle. In essence this splits it up into two areas: the "journey from symptom to cause" and the "journey from cause to remedy".

However, Juran's message is not always well received. The view that training should start at the top often provokes a senior management reaction that training is for others as they either know it all or should do. Logically, and speaking from experience, this belief needs to be reassesed. It is often seen that good quality initiatives and improvements are dead before they have got off the ground due to lack of understanding, poor launch, bad presentation, inadequate buy-in and more often restrictions on the time to adequately assess them. "Fire fighting" is a poor excuse for improvement and indicative of the lack of planning and risk management. In his view less than 20% of quality problems are due to operators, the remainder lies a little higher up the salary structures.

One observation made by Juran in 1996 indicates the lost potential: "Only 1-2% of companies are role models for quality. Less then 20% of companies are adequate in terms of quality".

More Information

Also see Joseph Juran

== References ==