Analysing the traditional approach to quality management


Quality in its simple terms mean activities designed in a manner to improve organisation and its services. Quality also means to learn what you are doing and how to do it better. It also means to find out ways you need to change for improving services to the ultimate users.


Quality :

From the consumer's point of view is price.

From the producer's point is cost.

But remember always the Customer's view must reign supreme.

Dimensions of quality : Products.

1} Performance : Basic operating characteristics of

D a product. Example; A car : how good are the

brakes, body, mileage, etc of a car.

2} Features : Any special characteristics added to

the product. e.g; special interiors added in the


3} Reliability : The expected time limit for the

product to deliver its best. E.g; approximate

mileage of the car before it needs service.

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4} Durability : Will the product last long enough

up to expected time limit.

5} Conformance : Does the product meets pre

established standards.

6} Serviceability : How easy is to get the service

repairs, speed of repairs and the cost incurred in

providing service.

7} Safety : Is the product safe enough to meet all

the safety requirements as prescribed.

8} Perceptions : Perceptions based on branding,

advertising etc; Does the product meets the

quality standard set by a particular brand name.

9} Appearance : The human senses of sight, taste

and smell is met to the well established


Other more Dimension of Quality :

Quality of design : The design of the product

must be such satisfying the needs of the


Quality of production process : The customers

needs and wants must be met by the product.

Quality of conformance : All the legal

requirements and the specifications are met by

the product or service.

Quality of customer service : Company and

customer relation must be met by with highest

level of accuracy. Customers must be satisfied

with the services provided and must feel are

taken care of.

Organisational quality culture : One of the most

important attributes towards quality is that the

seriousness of the whole organisation in

achieving quality.

Quality management can be considered to have

three main components: quality control, quality

assurance and quality improvement.

Quality management is focused not only on

product quality, but also the means to achieve it.

Quality management therefore uses quality

assurance and control of processes as well as

products to achieve more consistent quality.

The Traditional approach to quality management :


As defined by Fetter, and quoted in Johnson, Kast and Rosenzweig [11] as the function of ensuring the attributes of the product conform to prescribed standards and that their relationships are maintained. The emphasis laid in traditional approach was on product inspection and rejection and the most crucial decision of time for when and what to inspect and what quantity to inspect.

For this purpose, the features of the product and the cost involved needed to be considered. The process of inspecting the product might have been a random selection or a 100% check.

The responsibility of assuring the product quality lied with the quality control department but generally the quality managers used to report directly to production managers or the plant manager. The managers on the contrary were in immense pressure to meet the production targets and therefore many times to meet the production targets used to let go the faulty goods. This resulted in increased customer complaints or even if the customer did not complain they never came resulting in rise in warranty cost. The managers were generally tolerant of high work scrap levels and rework inefficiencies.

Therefore the concept of acceptable quality level {AQL} was commonly used. Which meant that it was generally acceptable for a percentage of a lot say 10% to be of low quality or below specified quality level.

In other words traditional approach means defining least cost level of inspection. But as a matter of fact inspection introduces fear and abnormal behaviour to the work force.

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The traditional approach has now been totally rejected and replaced by the modern concept of get it right first time.The modern approach as it is now considered as Total Quality Management {TQM} generally advocated by W. Edwards Deming one of the main architects of the modern concepts of quality management. He is also considered as the father of the modern approach of Total Quality Management.{TQM}.

Contributions to the modern concept of Total Quality Management {TQM}:

After the second world war Japan a defeated nation in the war found itself hard to feed its 90million population as in the world market the Japanese goods were considered as feudal & despotic. There was a urgent need for a radical change in the system to deliver the goods and service in world consumer market for Japanese goods to survive.

It can therefore be said that along with many other management practices TQM developed in and around the second world war in Japan.

General Douglas McArthur realised the need for the change in the market to regenerate the Japanese economy. And for this it was necessary to dismiss all the previous system and their managements to be replaced with men capable of making changes to develop their economy.

The Union of Japanese Scientist and Engineers {JUSE} was formed in that context and one of the very first decision of the Union was to invite the great American statistician Dr. W. Edwards Deming to import his ideas to them.

Top business managers of that time including that of Sony, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota were addressed by Mr. Deming. The Japanese companies accepted the ideas if Mr. Deming and many new management methods including TQM as the main key component were introduced in Japanese industry. As a result Japan could become a world leader in quality and productivity.

The Japanese companies not only accepted the ideas of Mr. Deming but started implementing them seriously and as the result of that till 1980's Japanese was far more superior then the American market. In fact till 1980's Japan's superior industrial practises had completely battered the American markets.

Now as a matter of survival the rest of the world was forced to accept the new idea of TQM also known as Japanese method.

The quality gurus who added to the mix up starting with Mr. Deming himself are:

Dr. W. Edward Deming : Mr. Deming totally rejected the traditional approach on quality based on inspection and statistical sampling saying that the approach itself is the Acceptance of Failure.

His theory was High Quality Low

Cost. If you Get it right first time, then there

are minimum Prevention, Detection, Remaining

cost. He interpreted quality in the terms of

reliability, dependability, predictability, and

consistency of product and service.

Deming's 14 points theory narrated in his book

Out Of Crises written in 1982 are as follows :

1. Create constancy of purpose towards


2. Adopt the new philosophy.

3. Cease dependence on inspection.

4. Move towards a single supplier for any one item.

5. Improve constantly and forever.

6. Institute training on the job.

7. Institute leadership. He makes a distinction between leadership and mere supervision.

8. Drive out fear.

9. Break down barriers between departments.

10. Eliminate slogans. Another central TQM idea is that it is not people who make most of the mistakes but it's the process they are working with.

11.Eliminate management by objectives. He saw production targets as main cause for the delivery of poor-quality goods.

12.Remove barriers to pride of workmanship.

13.Institute education and self-improvement.

14.The transformation is everyone's job.

For him improvement mist begin with identifying two types of variation. Secondly workout the special causes and only then work on common causes. All this is to be done with the help of Statistical Process Control (SPC) and various types of simple control charts. The product must be re designed to meet all the customer needs.

With the passage of time Mr. Deming' thoughts expanded in a sense to cover management issues leadership and training to achieve quality goals.


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Dr. Joseph Juran : Acknowledged worldwide for his contribution in the development of Total Quality Management. Dr. Juran published a book in 1950 named The Quality Control Handbookwhich become a standard reference book on quality all over the world.

His famous quality trilogy is the base

of his theory of Total Quality Management. His

trilogy concept was based on three aspects of

Financial management processes Financial

planning, Financial control and Financial


His philosophy based on trilogy theory can be summarised as:

Quality Planning : The process of identifying the customers, determining the needs of the customers, translate those needs in our language, and finally and most importantly optimise the product features in a way such that it meets your needs and that of the customers.

Quality Control : Develop a process for meeting quality goals through operation.

Quality improvement : To prove that the process can be used to produce the product under the operating conditions. That is to obtain break through levels.

Better is to correct the system then to blame operator errors.His theory laid special emphasis on using quality teams and training them in measurement and problem solving.

Armand V. Feigenbaum : He wrote a book named Total Quality Control in 1983. He is also called originator of Total Quality Control. According to him quality control is not something technical but a business method. He believes quality is the single force behind the success and growth of an organisation.

Thus he emphasised the administrative

viewpoint and considered human relations as a

basic issue in quality control activities. Individual

methods, such as statistics or preventive

maintenance is only a part of comprehensive

quality control programme. Quality control itself

is defined as:

An effective system for co-ordinating the

quality maintenance and quality improvement

efforts of the various groups in an organisation so

as to enable production at the most economical

levels which allow for full customer satisfaction.

The word control in quality control represents a

management tool with 4 steps:

Setting quality standard

Appraising conformance to these standards

Acting when standards are exceeded

Planning for improvements in the standards.

To control effectively all the factors affecting product quality one need to require control at all important stages of the production process. These jobs of quality control can be classified as:

New-design control

Incoming material control

Product control

Special process studies.

Further, it is argued that:

Like finance and marketing, Quality is a way of managing the organisation and has now become an essential element of modern management.

Operating quality costs are divided into:

Prevention costs including quality planning.

Appraisal costs including inspection.

Internal failure costs including scrap and rework.

External failure costs including warranty costs, complaints etc.

( Ref: Test Notes- Quality Gurus. )

For Total Quality Success, in the new form of ten crucial benchmarks are that:

Quality is a company-wide process.

Quality is what the customer says it is.

Quality and cost are a sum, not a difference.

Quality requires both individual and team effort.

Quality is a way of managing.

Quality and innovation are mutually dependent.

Quality is an ethic.

Quality requires continuous improvement.

Quality is the most cost-effective, least capital-intensive route to productivity.

Quality is implemented with a total system connected with customers and suppliers.

This 10 points make quality a way of totally focusing the company on the customers.

Philip B. Crosby : In 1979, he wrote a book Quality is Free. He developed the concept of Zero Defects and Quality is Free. He states, there are 4 quality points to be achieved :

Quality is conformance to Requirements.

The system of quality is prevention.

The performance standard is Zero Defects.

The measurement of Quality is the price of non- conformance.

He believed that Quality is free and to attain it the process itself should be designed in a manner where there is no defect, training the people, and motivate them to use the process, will gradually result in reduced cost and improved quality.

To attain this drafted 14 steps towards Zero Defects. This points are :

Management must be committed to a formalised Quality policy.

For quality improvement process planning and administration a Quality Improvement Team {QIT} must be formed at Management level.

To find out where current and future quality problems lie.

Examine the cost of quality and give reason for its use as a management tool to measure waste.

All employees must be aware and personally concerned to improve quality.

The root cause of problems must be identified and must be removed by taking corrective actions using approved system.

Form a zero defects committee and programme.

All employees must be trained to improve quality.

As a management recommitment and employee commitment hold a Zero Defects Day.

Individuals and groups must be encouraged to set improvement goals.

Any obstacles faced by employees in attaining their improvement goals must be communicated to management without fear.

All participants must be formally recognised.

For sharing quality management information Quality councils must be formed.

Form a new quality improvement team.

In this way Philip B. Crosby contributed in the

development of Modern Quality Management.

{ Ref:}

Dr. Genichi Taguchi : A Japanese Quality expert known for his theory of Quality Loss Function and his method of optimising quality at the design stage - Robust Design.

Quality Loss Function --

The Quality Loss Function gives financial value when the product performance goes below the desired target performance it increases customer dissatisfaction.

Alternatively, it gives a financial value for increasing costs as product performance goes above the desired target performance. This target performance is an educated guess, often based on customer surveys and feedback.

He advocated to design the product that is robust or insensitive during manufacturing process itself rather then attempting to control variation at actual manufacturing time. He used already established experimental design and made it easy, usable and practical for the managers.

Quality and reliability are to be taken into account at the design stage where they really belong, and he laid down off-line quality into three stages:

System design

Parameter design

Tolerance design

Taguchi methodology is basically a method that enables the designer to identify the requirement to produce a robust product that can survive manufacturing time start to end. Today, companies see a close link between his methods, which can be viewed along a continuum, and quality function deployment (QFD).

The designer can focus in reducing variation on the important factors. Factors not important have negligible impact on the product performance and can be ignored.

{Ref:, business}

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa : He was the one who initiated a new concept Company-wide Quality Control (CWQC). CWQC is that quality does not only mean only the quality of product, but also of after sales service, quality of management, the company itself. His biggest contributions are in simplifying statistical techniques for quality control and inventing quality circles.

The Ishikawa diagram and the assembly and use of the seven basic tools of quality:

Pareto analysis :which are the big problems?

Cause and effect diagrams: what causes the


Stratification: how is the data made up?

Check sheets: how often it occurs or is done?

Histograms: what do overall variations look like?

Scatter charts: what are the relationships between factors?

Process control charts: which variations to

control and how ?

He believed these seven tools should be known widely, in an organisation and used to analyse problems and develop improvements.

One of the most widely known of these is the Ishikawa or fishbone diagram. It assists groups in quality improvements. The diagram means to represent and analyse the real causes behind a problem or effect. The diagram helps to find out big and small causes which leads to one major problem, helps defining the problem, pointing out possible and probable causes by narrowing down the possible ones. It also helps groups to be systematic in creating new ideas and to check that they are in correct direction of cause.

His book Guide to Quality Control has been highly accepted by the later gurus.

(REF : business,

These are the contributions of Quality Gurus in development of Total Quality Management {TQM}.