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Quality Guru's

techbard 2007.12.02 15:41

The early Americans

W Edwards Deming introduced concepts of variation to the Japanese and also a systematic approach to problem solving, which later became known as the Deming or PDCA cycle. Later in the West he concentrated on management issues and produced his famous 14 Points. He remains active today and he has attempted a summary of his 60 years experience in his System of Profound Knowledge

Deming encouraged the Japanese to adopt a systematic approach to problem solving, which later became known as the Deming or PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) cycle. He also pushed senior managers to become actively involved in their company's quality improvement programmes.

Deming produced his 14 Points for Management, in order to help people understand and implement the necessary transformation. Deming said that adoption of, and action on, the 14 points are a signal that management intend to stay in business. They apply to small or large organisations, and to service industries as well as to manufacturing. However the 14 points should not be seen as the whole of his philosophy, or as a recipe for improvement. They need careful discussion in the context of one's own organisation.

Before his death Deming appears to have attempted a summary of his 60 years' experience. This he called the System of Profound Knowledge. It describes four interrelated parts:

Appreciation for a system
This emphasises the need for managers to understand the relationships between functions and activities. Everyone should understand that the long term aim is for everybody to gain - employees, share holders, customers, suppliers, and the environment. Failure to accomplish the aim causes loss to everybody in the system.

Knowledge of statistical theory
This includes knowledge about variation, process capability, control charts, interactions and loss function. All these need to be understood to accomplish effective leadership, teamwork etc.

Theory of knowledge
All plans require prediction based on past experience. An example of success cannot be successfully copied unless the theory is understood.

Knowledge of psychology
It is necessary to understand human interactions. Differences between people must be used for optimisation by leaders. People have intrinsic motivation to succeed in many areas. Extrinsic motivators in employment may smother intrinsic motivation. These include pay rises and performance grading, although these are sometimes viewed as a way out for managers.

Joseph M Juran focused on Quality Control as an integral part of management control in his lectures to the Japanese in the early 1950s. He believes that Quality does not happen by accident, it must be planned, and that Quality Planning is part of the trilogy of planning, control and improvement. He warns that there are no shortcuts to quality.

There are many aspects to Juran's message on quality. Intrinsic is the belief that quality does not happen by accident, it must be planned.  His recent book Juran on Planning for Quality is perhaps the definitive guide to Juran's current thoughts and his structured approach to company-wide quality planning. His earlier Quality Control Handbook was much more technical in nature.

Juran sees quality planning as part of the quality trilogy of quality planning, quality control and quality improvement. The key elements in implementing company-wide strategic quality planning are in turn seen as identifying customers and their needs; establishing optimal quality goals; creating measurements of quality; planning processes capable of meeting quality goals under operating conditions; and producing continuing results in improved market share, premium prices, and a reduction of error rates in the office and factory.

Juran's Quality Planning Road Map consists of the following steps:

  • Identify who are the customers.
  • Determine the needs of those customers.
  • Translate those needs into our language.
  • Develop a product that can respond to those needs.
  • Optimise the product features so as to meet our needs as well as customer needs.
  • Develop a process which is able to produce the product.
  • Optimise the process.
  • Prove that the process can produce the product under operating conditions.
  • Transfer the process to Operations.

    Illustration of Quality Trilogy via a Control Chart

    Juran concentrates not just on the end customer, but identifies other external and internal customers. This effects his concept of quality since one must also consider the 'fitness of use' of the interim product for the following internal customers. He illustrates this idea via the Quality Spiral.

    His formula for results is:

  • Establish specific goals to be reached.
  • Establish plans for reaching the goals.
  • Assign clear responsibility for meeting the goals.
  • Base the rewards on results achieved.

    Dr Juran warns that there are no shortcuts to quality and is sceptical of companies that rush into applying Quality Circles, since he doubts their effectiveness in the West. He believes that the majority of quality problems are the fault of poor management, rather than poor workmanship on the shop-floor. In general, he believes that management controllable defects account for over 80% of the total quality problems. Thus he claims that Philip Crosby's Zero Defects approach does not help, since it is mistakenly based on the idea that the bulk of quality problems arise because workers are careless and not properly motivated.

    Armand V Feigenbaum is the originator of Total Quality Control. He sees quality control as a business method rather than technically, and believes that quality has become the single most important force leading to organisational success and growth.

    Dr Armand V Feigenbaum is the originator of Total Quality Control. The first edition of his book Total Quality Control was completed whilst he was still a doctoral student at MIT.

    In his book Quality Control: Principles, Practices and Administration, Feigenbaum strove to move away from the then primary concern with technical methods of quality control, to quality control as a business method. 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, are seen as only segments of a 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.'

    He stresses that quality does not mean best but best for the customer use and selling price. The word control in quality control represents a management tool with 4 steps:

  • Setting quality standards
  • Appraising conformance to these standards
  • Acting when standards are exceeded
  • Planning for improvements in the standards.

    Quality control is seen as entering into all phases of the industrial production process, from customer specification and sale through design, engineering and assembly, and ending with shipment of product to a customer who is happy with it. Effective control over the factors affecting product quality is regarded as requiring controls at all important stages of the production process. These controls or jobs of quality control can be classified as:

  • New-design control
  • Incoming material control
  • Product control
  • Special process studies.

    Quality is seen as having become the single most important force leading to organisational success and company growth in national and international markets. Further, it is argued that:

    Quality is in its essence a way of managing the organisation and that, like finance and marketing, quality has now become an essential element of modern management.

    Thus a Total Quality System is defined as:

    The agreed company-wide and plantwide operating work structure, documented in effective, integrated technical and managerial procedures, for guiding the co-ordinated actions of the people, the machines and the information of the company and plant in the best and most practical ways to assure customer quality satisfaction and economical costs of quality.

    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.

    Reductions in operating quality costs result from setting up a total quality system for two reasons:

  • Lack of existing effective customer-orientated customer standards may mean current quality of products is not optimal given use
  • Expenditure on prevention costs can lead to a severalfold reduction in internal and external failure costs.

    The new 40th Anniversary edition of Dr A V Feigenbaum's book, Total Quality Control, now further defines TQC for the 1990s in the form of ten crucial benchmarks for total quality success. These 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 zealotry.
  • 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.

    These are the ten benchmarks for total quality in the 1990s. They make quality a way of totally focusing the company on the customer - whether it be the end user or the man or woman at the next work station or next desk. Most importantly, they provide the company with foundation points for successful implementation of its international quality leadership.

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