China's Ancient History of Managing for Quality, Part II

Article

Juran, J. M.   (1990, The Juran Foundation Inc. (Please contact the Juran Institute at 1-800-338-7726 for permission to get a photocopy of this article.))   Juran Institute, Inc., Wilton, CT

Quality Progress    Vol. 23    No. 8
QICID: 12368    August 1990    pp. 25-30

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Article Abstract

High levels of design, architecture, employee training, cost control, inspection, and other factors characterize the history of quality control in ancient China. Early complex designs were implemented through sophisticated smelting and casting processes. Architectural projects showed control over design, planning, and construction. For example, the 84 square kilometer city of Chang-an was constructed in 9 months during the Sui Dynasty. Division of labor was complex. For example, in the Tan Dynasty, the textile trade was divided into 25 workshops within the Textile Bureau. Training of craftsmen relied on the concept of inherited crafts. Fathers taught the trade to their sons. A policy of collective living increased the likelihood that craftsmen in the same trade worked and lived near each other. For cost control, there were standards for the use of labor and materials. A variety of inspection techniques provided quality control. These included: mutual examinations shared by officials of different localities; routine patrol examinations every month or season; extensive final examinations; and selective final examinations based on sampling. Quality control in China has a long history, but conservatism has made it difficult for these practices to evolve and keep pace with modern times.

Keywords

Inspection,History,Government,Design,Cost management,Architecture,China


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