Quality Management and Six Sigma Essay

Describe the evolution of quality from the early 20th century through the Japanese post-World War II, to the “Quality revolution” in the U. S. and elsewhere in the 1980’s through the early 21st Century. Identify the underlying forces to the ‘quality revolution’. Explain the role of the quality ‘gurus’ including Walter Shewhart, Joseph Juran, W. Edwards Deming Early Twentieth Century Inspection was the primary means of quality control during the first half of the twentieth century Separate the planning function from execution function

Managers/engineers plan and supervisors/workers execute Bell system was very popular up until this time Production organizations created separate quality departments, lead upper managers to believe quality is responsibility of the quality department and turned focus to quantity/efficiency 1980’s Henry Ford developed “total quality practices” once he visited Japan in 1982 Japanese constantly referred to “the book” which had become Japan’s industrial bible and helped Ford Motor Company realize how it had strayed from principles over the years Walter Shewhart

Western Electric Group leader Created era of statistical quality control (SQC), application of statistical methods for controlling quality Goes beyond inspection to focus on identifying/eliminating problems that cause defects Used by military in WWII to determine quality standards for suppliers Post-World War II Large shortage of civilian goods in the US made production a top priority Most companies still thought of quality for a specialist, used mass inspection Dr. Joseph Juran and Dr. Edwards Deming

Introduced statistical quality control techniques to the Japanese post-WWII Significant part of educational activity was focused on upper management rather than quality specialists alone Got support of top management to integrate quality throughout organization and developed a culture of continuous improvement. By 1970’s Japanese began to heavily penetrate Western markets U. S. “Quality Revolution” Decade of the 1980s major change in how quality is looked at in a company Deming aired “If Japan Can… Why Can’t We? ”

After the television show manufacturers began to ask for his health 1984 the US made October National Quality Month By 1990’s quality drove nearly every organization’s quest for success Organizations began to share knowledge through books and new quality awards were established Underlying Forces Of The Revolution 1970s global competition and appearance of higher-quality foreign products on the market lead U. S> consumers to consider purchasing decisions more carefully Large differences in quality between Japanese and U. S. made products so demand for high quality/reliability in goods at a fair price went up

List and describe the seven contemporary forces identified by ASQ that will influence the future of quality Defining quality – describe the various dimensions of quality – including formal definitions of quality: transcendent quality, product-, user- and value-based quality, fitness for use, conformance to specifications and meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Show visually the quality perspectives. Identify the definition of quality to individual divisions in a corporation – e. g. , sales, marketing, supply chain, operations, distribution, etc.

Judgment/Transcendent Perspective Defines quality as “the goodness of a product” Firms with this perspective wish to use quality as an image variable in the minds of their consumers Provides little value to mangers for decision making Product-Based Perspective “Quality is a function of a specific, measurable variable and that differences in quality reflect differences in quantity of some product attribute, such as number of stiches per inch” Essentially means a greater amount of product features leads to higher quality and ability to charge a higher price User-Based Perspective

Defines quality based on the fact that quality is determined by what the customer requires All individuals are different and thus have different perspectives of quality Defined as “fitness for intended us, or how well the product performs its intended function. ” Product needs to perform what it is marketed to do Value-Based Perspective “A quality product is one that is as useful as competing products and is sold at a lower price, or one that offers greater usefulness or satisfaction at a comparable price.

” Ex: Buying a generic product like Roundy’s bread over Wonder bread for cheaper Perspective often requires competitor analysis, leads benchmarking to become essential to a firm using this perspective Manufacturing-Based Perspective “The desirable outcome of engineering and manufacturing practice, or conformance to specifications. ” Specifications are determined by designers of the products/services and acts as basis for definition of quality Aim to conform to these specifications every time to ensure consistency


Describe the movement of quality as a management framework through Feigenbaum’s total quality and the movement to TQM and TQ TQ is people-focused management system that aims at continual increase in customer satisfaction at continually lower real cost. Total system approach (not separate functions) Fegenbaum recognized importance of a comprehensive organizational approach to quality in the 1950s and coined the term total quality control Japanese adopted it and named it companywide quality control List the three key principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) 1. A focus on customers and stakeholders.

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