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90 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2020 Quality Improvement This final stage of Juran's quality trilogy holds that the chronic waste identified by quality control should be considered an op- portunity for quality improvement. Quality im- provement is the systematic approach to the reduction or elimination of waste in a process. This can take many forms but should seek to continually establish a higher level of perfor- mance than previously achieved. Philip B. Crosby (1926–2001) Philip Crosby has been called "The fun uncle of the quality revolution" and had a talent for ex- plaining a sometimes dry subject matter in terms that were simple and un- derstandable to the average Joe. He coined the rally cry, "Do it right the first time," and was the first to introduce a "zero defects" mentality to manufacturing, which is not unlike today's Lean/Six Sigma movement. Like many of his colleagues, Crosby placed the responsibility with management for creating a culture of de- fect elimination without pointing blame at the operators. Another key attribute of this methodology was Crosby's definition of quality as confor- mance to a specification, not some ambigu- ous measure of goodness. As Crosby once famously stated, "Quality is conformance to requirements; non-quality is nonconfor- mance." I would agree with this viewpoint but argue against the common misperception that there can be "good quality" or "bad quality;" there can only be quality. Crosby established the four absolutes of quality management as a foundation for his 14 steps to quality improve- ment (Figure 2). Crosby's 14 Steps to Quality Improvement 1. Management commitment 2. Develop a quality improvement team 3. Quality measurement 4. Cost of quality evaluation 5. Quality awareness 6. Corrective action 7. Zero defects planning 8. Employee education 9. Zero defects day 10. Goal setting 11. Error-cause removal 12. Recognition 13. Quality councils 14. Do it over again Conclusion Juran's focus on quality planning as a pri- mary tool for improvement and the proclama- tion that quality cannot be "inspected in" has stood the test of time. While I disagree with Uncle Phil's premise that "quality is free," his groundbreaking work to drive organizations to the goal of zero defects has resulted in tremen- dous quality improvement in U.S.-made prod- ucts. Much can still be learned from these two founding fathers. PCB007 Steve Williams is the president of The Right Approach Consulting. To read past columns or contact Williams, click here. Figure 2: Crosby's four absolutes of quality management.

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