Like Deming, Dr Joseph Juran was a charismatic figure. A Balkan-born American, Joseph Juran started out as an engineer in 1924. In 1951 his first Quality Control Handbook was published and led him to international eminence. Chapter 1 of the book was titled The Economics of Quality and contained his now famous analogy to the costs of quality; there is gold in the mine.

Like Deming, Juran was invited to Japan in the early 1950s by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). He arrived in 1954 and conducted seminars for top and middle-level executives. His lectures had a strong managerial flavour and focused on planning, organisational issues, management’s responsibility for quality, and the need to set goals and targets for improvement. He emphasised that quality control should be conducted as an integral part of management control.

Juran’s message

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 book Juran on Planning for Quality (Free Press 1988) is the 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 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:

1) Identify who are the customers.

2) Determine the needs of those customers.

3) Translate those needs into our language.

4) Develop a product that can respond to those needs.

5) Optimise the product features so as to meet our needs as well as customer needs.

6) Develop a process which is able to produce the product.

7) Optimise the process.

8) Prove that the process can produce the product under operating conditions.

9) Transfer the process to operations.

Juran concentrates not just on the end customer, but identifies other external and internal customers. This affects his concept of quality since one must also consider the fitness for use of the interim product for the following internal customers.

Juran’s work emphasises the need for specialist knowledge and tools for successful conduct of the Quality Function. He emphasises the need for continuous awareness of the customer in all functions.

According to Juran, the mission of his recent work is:

· Creating an awareness of the quality crisis of the 1980s, the role of quality planning in that crisis and the need to revise the approach to quality thinking.

· Establishing a new approach to quality planning and providing training in how to plan for quality using this new approach.

· Assisting companies to re-plan existing processes throughout the company which contain unacceptable quality deficiencies.

· Establishing mastery within companies over the quality planning process and utilising this to plan for quality in ways that avoid the creation of new chronic problems.

Juran refers to the widespread move to raise quality awareness in the emerging quality crisis of the early 1980s as failing to change behaviour despite company quality awareness campaigns, or drives, based on slogans and exhortations. Whilst quality awareness was raised, the increased awareness seldom resulted in changed behaviour.

The recipe for action should consist of 90% substance and 10% exhortation, not the reverse.

(Juran on Planning for Quality 1988)

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. He is sceptical of companies that (following other quality gurus) rush into applying Quality Circles, since he doubts their likely 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.

Juran believes that, as with Japanese industry, long-term training to improve quality should start at the top, but he knows that this irritates senior management.

Their instinctive belief is that upper managers already know what needs to be done, and that training is for others – the workforce, the supervision, the engineers. It is time to re-examine this belief.