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What We Learn from Each Quality Guru?

What We Learn from Each Quality Guru

Discover the key contributions of each quality guru and how they revolutionized the history of process management. Read now!

The term “quality guru” is often used to refer to leading figures who have delved into quality management. They have developed techniques, methods, tools, and concepts that contributed to the advancement of the industry and organizations around the world. Thus, to this day, these names are revered and studied, as they have produced improvements that made the world more productive and focused on meeting people’s needs. The list of theorists is long, but there are 6 names frequently listed under the title “quality guru”. And it is about them that we will talk today.

Without these individuals of great value, we likely would not experience the high level that quality management has reached today. Thus, as many of the concepts go beyond the area and end up being used in all types of management niches, we can say that we would not have such a high level of administrative management (as a whole) as we do today. Now, without further ado, let’s move on to the quality gurus!


Walter Andrew Shewhart (1891-1967) – Quality and Statistics

Shewhart is considered the father of statistical quality control, and perhaps even of quality management itself. Few know, but he was responsible for developing the Shewhart Cycle, which would later become known as PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), and was widely spread by Deming (we will talk about him later).

This quality guru was the first to introduce the idea that variation in production processes can be predicted and controlled by statistical methods, which greatly contributed to the development of what we know today as quality management.


William Edwards Deming (1900-1993) – PDCA and Continuous Improvement

Undoubtedly, the most popular quality guru in the world, Deming is considered a direct disciple of Shewhart and, as mentioned, is the main person responsible for popularizing PDCA.

Moreover, he strongly emphasized the importance of continuous improvement, arguing that quality should be an integral part of ALL organizational processes, from top to bottom. Deming is also frequently cited for creating his 14 Principles of Quality, highlighting the importance of leadership, constancy of purpose, and customer focus.


Joseph Moses Juran (1904-2008) – Quality Trilogy

Juran is very well-known for emphasizing the importance of management by quality, involving all members of the organization and focusing on awareness and engagement.

In addition, Juran also became famous with his quality trilogy, which involves: quality planning (Quality Planning), quality control (Quality Control), and quality improvement (Quality Improvement). Juran also established what he called “The seven principles of leadership” and played a key role in adapting the Pareto principle for quality management.


Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-1989) – Cause and Effect Diagram

Also extremely famous in the quality field, Ishikawa made his mark through his famous tool that bears his name: the Ishikawa diagram (also known as the cause and effect diagram, 6M, or fishbone).

In the realm of tools, he was responsible for gathering and disseminating the infamous 7 quality tools, which, according to him, could solve the vast majority of business problems. Ishikawa also strongly encouraged the importance of the participation of all employees in the management and improvement of quality and advocated for the systemic approach of the Quality Management System (QMS).


Armand Vallin Feigenbaum (1922-2014) – Total Quality

Feigenbaum is known for developing and spreading the concept of Total Quality Control (TQC). With this, he emphasized the importance of the entire organization being involved in the pursuit of quality, from senior management and leaders to the factory floor and later, the importance of suppliers.

The quality guru also highlighted the need for an effective integration of quality management systems throughout the company, making it an organic and widespread system. He also expanded the vision of the costs of non-quality, including aspects such as customer dissatisfaction and potential market loss.


Philip Bayard Crosby (1926-2001) – Zero Defects

Philip Crosby is often known for his famous phrase: “do it right the first time”. He was the first and most significant author to emphasize the concept of “zero defects” and believed that investing in process quality was better than correcting errors from bad processes.

For this, he emphasized the importance of preventing defects rather than detecting them, and for him, inspection should be abolished from organizations. Crosby also highlighted the responsibility of all the organization’s employees in quality assurance and the importance of engagement.


Each quality guru contributed to shaping the Quality Management we have today

Even if you have never studied the life of each guru specifically, you most likely know or work with their contributions. Who has not heard of Crosby’s “zero defects”? Of the statistical process control advocated by Shewhart, or of the PDCA popularized by Deming?

Thus, it is easy to understand that without these names we probably would not have such significant advancements in our production levels and, of course, in the quality of everything that is currently made. Moreover, it is clear that these concepts are the foundation of all good management and that they are closely linked to the day-to-day operations of companies and individuals.

Therefore, the quality gurus were fundamental not only to quality or business management but to the history of humanity as a whole, making the world evolve significantly and making people’s lives better and more comfortable.

QMS Certification

QMS Certification

QMS is an accredited third party certification body, it is currently present in 33 countries and focuses on the certification of management systems. QMS America is managed by the US office and has consistently grown in market recognition by technical level, customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.

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