Quality Management Evolution

Quality management is a recent phenomenon. Advanced civilizations that supported the arts and crafts allowed clients to choose goods meeting higher quality standards than normal goods. In societies where art and craft (and craftsmanship) were valued, one of the responsibilities of a master craftsman (and similarly for artists) was to lead their studio, train and supervise the work of their craftsmen and apprentices. The master craftsman set standards, reviewed the work of others and ordered rework and revision as necessary. One of the limitations of the craft approach was that relatively few goods could be produced, on the other hand an advantage was that each item produced could be individually shaped to suit the client. This craft based approach to quality and the practices used were major inputs when quality management was created as a management science.
During the industrial revolution, the importance of craftsmen was diminished as mass production and repetitive work practices were instituted. The aim was to produce large numbers of the same goods. The first proponent in the US for this approach was Eli Whitney who proposed (interchangeable) parts manufacture for muskets, hence producing the identical components and creating a musket assembly line. The next step forward was promoted by several people including Frederick Winslow Taylor a mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is sometimes called "the father of scientific management." He was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and part of his approach laid a further foundation for quality management, including aspects like standardization and adopting improved practices. Henry Ford also was important in bringing process and quality management practices into operation in his assembly lines. In Germany, Karl Friedrich Benz, often called the inventor of the motor car, was pursuing similar assembly and production practices, although real mass production was properly initiated in Volkswagen after world war two. From this period onwards, North American companies focused predominantly upon production against lower cost with increased efficiency.
Walter A. Shewhart made a major step in the evolution towards quality management by creating a method for quality control for production, using statistical methods, first proposed in 1924. This became the foundation for his ongoing work on statistical quality control. W. Edwards Deming later applied statistical process control methods in the United States during World War II, thereby successfully improving quality in the manufacture of munitions and other strategically important products.
Quality leadership from a national perspective has changed over the past five to six decades. After the second world war, Japan decided to make quality improvement a national imperative as part of rebuilding their economy, and sought the help of Shewhart, Deming and Juran, amongst others. W. Edwards Deming championed Shewhart's ideas in Japan from 1950 onwards. He is probably best known for his management philosophy establishing quality, productivity, and competitive position. He has formulated 14 points of attention for managers, which are a high level abstraction of many of his deep insights. They should be interpreted by learning and understanding the deeper insights and include:
• Break down barriers between departments
• Management should learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership
• Improve constantly
• Institute a programme of education and self-improvement
There are many methods for quality improvement. These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement. In the following list are methods of quality management and techniques that incorporate and drive quality improvement—
1. ISO 9004:2000 — Guidelines for performance improvement.
2. ISO 15504-4: 2005 — Information technology — Process assessment — Part 4: Guidance on use for process improvement and process capability determination.
3. QFD — Quality Function Deployment, also known as the House of Quality approach.
4. Kaizen , Japanese for change for the better; the common English usage is continual improvement.
5. Zero Defect Program — created by NEC Corporation of Japan, based upon Statistical Process Control and one of the inputs for the inventors of Six Sigma.
6. Six Sigma — 6σ, Six Sigma combines established methods such as Statistical Process Control, Design of Experiments and FMEA in an overall framework.
7. PDCA — Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle for quality control purposes. (Six Sigma's DMAIC method (Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) may be viewed as a particular implementation of this.)
8. Quality circle — a group (people oriented) approach to improvement.
9. Taguchi methods — statistical oriented methods including Quality robustness, Quality loss function and Target specifications.
10. The Toyota Production System — reworked in the west into Lean Manufacturing.
11. Kansei Engineering — an approach that focuses on capturing customer emotional feedback about products to drive improvement.
12. TQM — Total Quality Management is a management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. First promoted in Japan with the Deming prize which was adopted and adapted in USA as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and in Europe as the European Foundation for Quality Management award (each with their own variations).
13. TRIZ — meaning "Theory of inventive problem solving"
14. BPR — Business process reengineering, a management approach aiming at 'clean slate' improvements (That is, ignoring existing practices).
Source: Wikipedia

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