Demming, Juran and Crosby
Demming, Juran and Crosby are probably most recognized as the pioneers in the subject of quality management. But from the very beginning, quality has always meant different things to different people.
William Edwards Deming (1900 - 1993) was one of the first to think about quality in modern times, especially quality in management. Demming was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer and consultant. From 1950 onwards, he taught top managements in Japan how to improve product and service quality through various approaches to design and testing, including the application of statistical methods. His focus was on "the efficient production of the quality that the market expects" and is perhaps best known for his "Plan-Do-Check-Act" cycle.
Joseph M. Juran (1904 - 2008) also wrote extensively on the subject of quality, and was invited to Japan in 1954, where his particular ideas flourished. He is principally remembered as an evangelist for quality and quality management. His focus was on "Fitness for purpose" as defined by the customer.
Philip B. Crosby (1926 - 2001) started out in quality as a test technician. Subsequently, as a businessman and author, he contributed to management theory and quality management practices by focusing on "Zero defects" through "doing it right the first time". In fact he believed that an organization that established a quality program would see savings returns that would more than pay off the cost of the quality program and hence promoted the idea that "quality is free".
There have been many others in the field, of course, perhaps most notably Peter Drucker (1909 - 2005) who proclaimed that: "Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for." Drucker was, of course, speaking about operations management, as this sentiment clearly does not apply to project management.
In fact, what all of these fine gentlemen were talking about is run-the-business, or business-as-usual, management. And the establishment of a culture of individual quality ownership, pride in workmanship and satisfaction with the end product was, one way or another, their collective aim. As a result, "quality management" has become well established at the corporate level.
Only around the 1970s have efforts been made to transfer these ideas to the project management environment.
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5. Wikipedia wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_B._Crosby, accessed 7/28/13
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