Joseph Juran was a pioneer in the study of quality control whose management theory has gained worldwide recognition in the science, engineering and mathematics fields. His Juran’s Quality Control Handbook is still in use today.
Juran’s quality theory impacted Japanese industries after World War II, when he and a colleague traveled to Japan to help rebuild the economy.
Juran’s management theory continued to develop throughout his lifetime. He died in 2008 at the age of 103. Today, his theory of quality management is part of other quality management theories, such as Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. Globally, Juran is regarded as one of the founding fathers of quality management programs.
Juran’s theory of quality control became a foundational principle in Japan after his trip there in 1954 when the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers invited Juran to teach the theories and practices he’d been developing in America.
Quality planning focuses on instituting quality by design (and sometimes is referred to as Design for Six Sigma). Specifically, it promotes designing a product, service, idea or information together with the processes that will produce the final iteration. This innovative method creates processes and design features that cater to customers’ needs.
After the planning process, quality control also measures progress and evaluates performance. To conduct successful quality control, however, a business should outline what should be measured to evaluate the goal’s achievement. In addition, if there’s a gap between where the process should be and where it is in real time, the business should develop a method such as quality improvement to act on the gap and rectify the difference.
Quality improvement can usher in lasting change for the process if it is continually introduced. The ways to promote quality improvement include repair, refinement, renovation and reinvention.
Juran’s management theory hinges on continuous quality improvement. While it can be an arduous process for businesses, the commitment to never-ending quality planning, control and improvement makes lasting changes and fosters innovation.
Businesses can fulfill Juran’s first step of quality planning by defining what the customer wants and how the business plans to solve that need. What does the business require to build that solution? A defining part of this planning process is that key stakeholders have an involvement in the process; it is multidisciplinary, rather than siloed.
Here are a few ways you can implement Juran’s theory into your business.
As a business owner interested in implementing Juran’s theory into your business or your team, deep knowledge of the theory and buy-in from your peers is foundational to success. Find a consultant who specializes in Juran’s management theory to help guide you and the business in a new direction.
A passionate commitment to quality improvement is difficult to maintain for businesses, with many stakeholder distractions and customer expectations. Working with a consultant who has experience instituting this management style in other businesses will prevent early burnout or abandonment of the Quality Trilogy.
To gain a full understanding of the meaning behind Juran’s management philosophy, learn more about his educational background and the influences he had in creating his quality control theory.
Born in Romania in 1904, Juran was a prodigy, proficient in math and science. He was the first in his family to attend college at the University of Minnesota. After graduation, he worked in America for most of his life as an engineer. In 1951, he wrote Juran’s Quality Control Handbook, which remains one of the most essential reference books in quality management and engineering.
Juran’s management theory builds off of the Pareto principle, a theory from the late 1800s that says 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. In both his prime and later years, Juran used the Pareto principle to craft a management theory that takes into account the full cause of issues in a process and innovative, efficient ways to solve them.
Business owners can implement Juran’s management theory to identify opportunities for improvement in their businesses and learn how to build a process that continually evolves with the changing needs of stakeholders.
Read Juran’s books for yourself. The Juran principle remains a nuanced, interesting theory — especially when used on real-world problems that need a solution. For example, learning more about the cost of poor quality and how to avoid chronic waste gives business owners a deeper understanding of the benefits behind consistent quality improvement. This information can guide them on how to solve resistance to change.