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Monday, April 16, 2012

Let us learn from a Quality Guru - Philip Crosby

Philip Crosby
18 June 1926 – 18 August 2001)


American Quality Guru Philip Crosby contributed to management theory and quality management principles. He was the person, who initiated ‘Zero Defects’ programme at the plant of Martin Company, Florida, USA. He was the person, who put the belief among the industrial world that quality is free. ‘Doing it right the first time’ is his principle to respond to any quality crisis.



Education – Graduated (1944) from Triadelpha High School, Honorary Law Degree from Wheeling College, Honorary Law Degree from Rollins College, Honorary Doctor of Corporate Management from the University of Findlay

Crosby work life details

Crosby served in World War II and the Korean War. After serving in WWII and the Korean War, he worked for Closley, Martin-Marietta and ITT. He was the corporate vice president of ITT for 14 years. In the Korean War he served as a Marine Medical Corpsman.

1952 – Crosby started his career as a quality professional. Joined Croseley Corporation (Richmond, Indiana) as a junior electronic test technician, where he was directed to join the American Society for Quality Control and thus he entered in to the field of quality.

1955 – Moved to South Bend, Indiana and joined Bendix Corporation as a reliability technician, where he was associated with the work to investigate defects found by the testers and inspectors

1957 – Joined Martin Marietta Company in Orlando, Florida as a senior quality engineer and worked there for eight years. During this period, he developed his ‘Zero Defects’ concepts and also wrote many articles for various journals. He also started his speaking career.

1965 – He joined International Telephone and Telegraph as a vice president in charge of corporate quality.

1979 – Started a management consultancy organization ‘Philip Crosby Associates Inc.’ He published his first book ‘Quality is Free’.

1991 – Retired from Philip Crosby Associates and founded a new company named ‘Career IV, Inc.’ helping people to grow.

Crosby in Indian context

Philip Crosby visited India in 1996 and he talked with a few software folks at NIIT. As a nonexecutive chairman of ‘India Quality Management Foundation’, Crosby wrote a story about the eighth grade and quality management.

Crosby books

• Cutting the Cost of Quality (1967)
• Quality is Free: The Art of Making Quality Certain (1979)
• Quality Without Tears: The Art of Hassle-Free Management (!984)
• Running Things: The Art of Making Things Happen (1986)
• The Eternally Successful Organization (1988)
• Let’s Talk Quality (1989)
• Leading: The Art of Becoming an Executive (1990)
• Completeness: Quality for the 21st Century (1992)
• Reflections on Quality (1995)
• Quality IS Still Free (1996)
• The Absolutes of Leadership (1997)
• Quality and Me : Lessons of an Evolving Life (1999)

The Principle – ‘Doing it right the first time’

‘Doing it right the first time’ is Crosby’s principle to respond to any quality crisis. He defined following four quality absolutes:

i. Quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both product requirements and customer’s requirements), not as ‘goodness’ or ‘elegence’
ii. The system of quality is prevention, not appraisal
iii. The performance standard must be zero defects (relative to requirements), not ‘that’s close enough’
iv. The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance (PONC), not by indices

The above four absolutes originally coined by Crossby in his famous book ‘Quality is Free’. Four years after the death of Philip Crosby, Pilip Crosby Associates, a consulting organization founded by Philip Crosby, added another absolute, which states – “The purpose of quality is to ensure customer success, not customer satisfaction.”

Philip Crosby’s 14-Step Quality Improvement Process

Step 1 – Management commitment
Step 2 – Quality improvement teams
Step 3 – Measurement
Step 4 – Cost of quality
Step 5 – Quality awareness
Step 6 – Corrective action
Step 7 – Zero defects planning
Step 8 – Education
Step 9 – Zero Defects Day
Step 10 – Goal setting
Step 11 – Error cause removal
Step 12 – Recognition
Step 13 – Quality councils
Step 14 – Do it over again

‘Quality is Free’

‘Quality is Free’ communicates powerful messages
i. Senior management must commit to quality if things are to change
ii. Doing things right the first time adds absolutely nothing to the cost of a product or service
iii. Quality is free, but it is not a gift
iv. An organization that established a quality programme will see savings more than pay off cost of the quality programme.

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal

1 comment:

isocon said...

Six Sigma Certification is another certification that, bit by bit, rises to fame.

This course is very important since business is what runs within an organization. Thanks a lot for sharing!

ISO 9001 Certification