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Quality as an aspect of management and production has been evolving over time. This subject has received valuable contributions from several quality gurus whose ideas have helped in formulating quality principles and policies within organisations. This paper discusses the idea of quality. The paper explores some of the critical quality features identified by the gurus.
Deming introduced a new approach to quality management. He focused on the need for the senior management to participate in programmes set to improve quality. Deming’s 14 points of quality focus on the management of the firm, including advising it to adopt a new philosophy through learning responsibilities and instituting leadership, instead of depending on supervision (Dale et al., 2011).
Although the idea of the management taking the lead in ensuring that an organisation achieves quality is critical, Deming seems to have overlooked the contribution of others within the organisation. While the management can be effective in seeking for quality improvement, it is also true that members in the organisation may fail the management by not participating in the efforts.
Joseph Juran’s idea of quality also borrows from Deming’s ideas in the aspect of the management assuming the leading role. However, Juran’s concept of quality appears to strengthen the whole idea by involving other important structures of the organisation. He brings in a new perspective of cost as the right measure to inform managers about the importance of quality (Kelemen, 2003). His nine-point strategic planning begins with the customer’s point of view, highlighting the importance of fulfilling the customer’s needs to the organisation.
Juran’s quality roadmap is an all encompassing idea that identifies the importance of both the internal and external customers. It seeks to enhance quality achieved both within and outside the government (Dale et al., 2011).
The Feigenbaum idea of quality focuses on measurement. Apart from the administrative roles, managers must continually measure their performance to determine whether the costs incurred in operations meet the set out standards. Feigenbaum expounds further on Juran’s idea of costs by dividing the operating quality costs into prevention, appraisal, internal failure, and external failure costs (Kelemen, 2003).
The ten crucial benchmarks of quality control make the quality idea introduced by Feigenbaum as an all-out requirement for the organisation. It covers the internal and external customers and extends to cover other important aspects of the organisation.
Unlike all the other gurus, Ishikawa brings in a new concept of communication as the underlying force in quality performance. The force-and-effect diagram shows the main roles played by each of the participants in the organisation towards quality achievement. However, Ishikawa emphasises on using communication to achieve the objectives (Dale et al., 2011).
While Ishikawa has focused too much on structures and models needed to achieve quality, he overlooks the importance of management. No organisation can attain quality communication without the management’s participation.
Taguchi and Shingo
Both Taguchi and Shingo expound on the statistical methods of improving quality that were introduced by Ishikawa. The idea of cost performance of the organisation helps managers to determine whether the organisation is achieving quality (Kelemen, 2003). Both gurus offer more technical tools for quality management, meaning that managers using this concept are able to enhance their performance more than when they rely on Ishikawa’s statistical tool.
Organisations work towards enhancing their quality performance to increase the possibility of attaining their objectives. Several models and concepts have been produced by quality gurus to help managers and organisations achieve high quality performance. These models highlight the importance of management taking full control in quality management. They also recognise the important aspect of satisfying the needs and requirements of both internal and external customers.
Dale, H. B., Besterfield, D. H., Besterfield-Michna, C., Besterfield, G. H., Besterfield-Sacre, M., Urdhwareshe, H., & Urdhwareshe, R. (2011). Total quality management, (revised edition). New Delhi, India: Dorling Kindersley.
Kelemen, M. (2003). Managing quality. London, UK: SAGE.