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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Let us learn from a Quality Guru - Joseph M. Juran

Joseph M. Juran
(24 December 1904 – 28 February 2008)

Joseph Moses Juran, a leading quality guru, who had written several influential books on quality and quality management. Born in Romania, but he spent most of his life in America. He is often known as ‘Father of Quality’.

A few awards received by Juran includes – (i) Second Order of the Sacred Treasure Award from the Emperor of Japan.

Education – B. S. in Electrical Engineering (1925) – University of Minnesota

Juran’s Work Life details

1925 – Started working with Western Electric in the Inspection Department of the Hawthorne Works, Chicago, USA.

1926 – Attended training programme designed to implement new tools and techniques, and thereafter, from a group of 20 trainees, Juran became one of two engineers for the Inspection Statistical Department.

1928 – Juran wrote a paper ‘Statistical Methods Applied to Manufacturing Problems’

1937 – Juran became the Chief of Industrial Engineering at Western Electric in New York. His work involved visiting other organizations and discussing methods of quality management. Juran created the ‘Pareto Principle’ which managers rely on to help separate the ‘vital few’ from the ‘useful many’ in their activities. This is now commonly referred as the 80-20 principle and also referred to as Juran’s Pareto Principle.

During World War II – Juran’s leave of absence from Western Electric for a period of four years, during this time he served as an assistant administrator for the Land-Lease Administration in Washington. By the end of the war, Juran was a well-known and highly-regarded Statistician and industrial engineering theorist in America.

1945 and thereafter – Left Washington and did not join Western Electric. Juran chose to devote the remainder of his life to the study of quality management. Joined New York University as Chairman of the Department of Administrative Engineering, where he taught for many years. He devoted his tome mostly in the development of his management philosophies. The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers invited Juran to Japan in 1954, where he taught them the principles of quality management and thus helped Japanese rebuilt their economy. In 1979 he founded Juran Institute.

Juran is famous for his quality management ideas known as Quality Trilogy. Quality Trilogy includes three distinct phases: (i) Quality Planning – Identify your customers, determine needs of your customers, translate their needs in your own language, and develop a product that can respond to customer needs, (ii) Quality Improvement – Develop a process which is able to produce a product, and optimize the process, (iii) Quality Control – Prove that the process can produce the product under operating conditions with minimal inspection, and transfer the process to operation.

Juran in Indian context

Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) initiated an award named ‘IMC Juran Medal’, which has become a benchmark for quality leaders in India.

Famous work of Juran

• Juran’s Pareto Principle
• Quality Control Handbook (First released in 1951)
• Managerial Breakthrough – A collection of Juran’s lectures (1964)
• Juran’s Quality Trilogy (First published in 1986)
• Foundation of Juran Institute (1979)

Juran’s Pareto Principle

Juran’s Pareto Principle, suggested by Joseph M. Juran, is also known as the ’20-80 Rule’, ‘the law of vital few’ and ‘the principle of factor sparsity’. It emphasizes that for many phenomena 80% of consequences stem from 20% causes. Juran framed this principle after he adopted an idea from the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto that stated the 80% of property in Italy was owned by 20% of the Italian population. Thus, Juran was able to frame that ‘20% of clients are responsible for 80% of sales volume’. The Juran’s Pareto Principle is helpful in future decision making. The 20-80 Rule means that in anything a few (20%) are vital and many (80%) are trival.

Juran’s definition for quality

Juran defines quality as ‘fitness for use’ (1988). Note: The customer defines the fitness.

Juran offers two definitions of quality in his must-have reference, Juran’s Quality Handbook:
• Quality means those features of products, which meet customer needs and thereby provide customer satisfaction.
• Quality means freedom from deficiencies – freedom from errors that require doing work again (rework) or that result in field failures, customer claim and so on.

Juran’s Quality Improvement Tools

Juran suggests following 10 steps to quality improvement:
i. Build awareness of opportunity to improve
ii. Set your goals for improvement
iii. Organize yourself to reach goals
iv. Provide training
v. Carry out projects to solve problems
vi. Report progress
vii. Give recognition
viii. Communicate results
ix. Keep score
x. Maintain momentum by making annual improvement plan of the regular systems and processes of the organization

With best wishes,


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