Guru Guide

Abstract:This article profiles six people who greatly influenced thought in the field of quality. Philip B. Crosby (1926-2001) is perhaps best known for his promotion of the zero defects standard. W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) helped create the basis for statistical quality control. Armand V. Feigenbaum (1922-) has shaped the development of the discipline now known as total quality management for over 60 years. Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-1989) translated American quality concepts to the Japanese workplace and started the quality circle movement. Joseph M. Juran (1904-2008) is remembered for his many contributions to the science of quality management. The work of Walter A. Shewhart (1891-1967) arguably launched the quality profession in the early 20th century. Sidebar articles offer quotes from each of the featured quality gurus as well as lists of their published …

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Good knowledge about development of Quality
--Amit Aggarwal, 01-08-2013

I love the quotes.
--Hart Manek , 01-20-2012

This is a great article. It will always remind us of the great contributions of the quality gurus.
--BUDS M. FERNANDO, 03-25-2011

Good source from ASQ. Many thanks.
--Kennie, 02-11-2011

Great article. This article not only tells of gurus, but also we can learn the basics of a lot of quality concepts. The names are in alphabetical order, otherwise Deming's name should have been on top. Taguchi has taken quality into the Six Sigma era. His name seems to be missing.
--Irfan Farooqui
Country counselor
ASQ Pakistan, 01-18-2011

Good Article. I would have said something about Eli Goldratt and Bill Smith, too.

I taught almost this exact same material as part of the Kansas BEST (Boosting engineering, Science and Technology) as a mentor to high school students from Rose Hill. The set up their booth as a "hall of fame" honoring the contributions of these gentlemen and submitted their written report to the BEST committee explaining how they used many of the techniques and tools taught by these leaders during the project. Good stuff.
--Mike Alumbaugh, 01-04-2011

I think this is a great article, and I really like the quotes.
--Doug Von Feldt, 11-29-2010

Thanks QP. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article and remembering how these inspirational gurus helped to establish the quality profession.
--Joyce Wood, 11-23-2010

I like the quotes. It's beyond the scope of this article, but I have to wonder: These gentlemen pioneered a lot of what we do now, but where is the next generation? Is it that we simply don't see them working in the shadows, or has our society walked away from serious quality? Lip service (to quality) is common, but shouldn't there be new champions coming to the forefront by now?
--Jeffrey Vust, 11-23-2010

When I conduct my Six Sigma training programs, I generally cover Taguchi as one of the quality gurus. I was surprised not to see him.
--Amitabh Saxena, 11-23-2010

I really liked the choice of the six individuals. Although I think it would be easy to suggest some additions, I can't think of anyone I would list ahead of these individuals. However, I was mildly disappointed the focus seemed to be more on resumes and the recognition they received. I think the articles would have been much more beneficial to quality professionals if they had focused more heavily on their contributions to the quality body of knowledge and the impact those contributions had.
--Kurt Roudabush, 11-22-2010

Thanks QP for providing us yet another opportunity to read, remember and respect the gurus of the great profession.
--NS Pillai, 11-22-2010

Happy to revisit something I studied 15-17 years back. Simple and comprehensive. Personally, I have been significantly influenced by Dr. Deming's work, and PDCA remains most favorite philosophy. I tend to look at all the modern-day methods as variants of PDCA.

Good work QP!
--Haresh Amre, 11-18-2010

Excellent article.

I had the privilege of meeting and having brief conversations with both Dr. Deming, at one of his public seminars, and Mr. Crosby, following my completion of his "Quality College." Mr. Crosby made it clear that my decision to use the best guru practices was fine but also said "I was old enough" to formulate my own approach to quality. Time has proven him to be quite right.

--Thomas C. Willis, 11-18-2010

I think Donald J. Wheeler should be mentioned. His work in, as I call it, "Industrial SPC" has guided me for the past decade-plus. In particular, I think history will appreciate his approach to measurement system analysis.
--Ron Johnson, 11-17-2010

Great article to use as a reference when educating others. At the Krasnoff Quality Management Institute, we are always looking for ways to teach others about quality.
--DebI Baker, 11-17-2010

I believe we may need new quality gurus in the new changing world. They most likely will be emerging from one of the fast-growing world economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
--Ming Chen, 11-17-2010

Terrific! It is so transparent and easy to understand fully at a glance. Thank you QP!
--Diana Leung, 11-16-2010

We owe the kind of lives we have today to this "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." We are inheritors of a bountiful legacy. I am proud to be a quality professional.

Balaji S. Reddie
The Deming Forum (India)
--Balaji S. Reddie, 11-16-2010

Off-hand, I can think of two names to add. William A. J. Golomski was an ASQ President in the mid 1960s whose leadership led to the first ASQ certification in 1968: the Certified Quality Engineer (CQE). He also played a role promoting quality in numerous industries. His use of the Least Square Determination was critical in saving the food industry $1 billion during the 1970s and 1980s. At the time of his 2002 death, Golomski was chair of another professional society's quality assurance division. A second would be John Surak for his leadership implementing ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and now ISO 22000 in the food industry. His leadership was also one of the factors in the establishment of the CMQ/OE in 1995.
--Chris Miller, 11-14-2010

This article and all these extraordinary men inspire me to go forward and implement quality everywhere.
--Dulce Rocio, 11-13-2010

These men are very inspiring to me. They saw things many others missed or could not see and WWII offered them the vehicle needed to share their unique vantage point. I believe many of you have much to offer, so respect the past, but steer the future.
--Mark A. Johnson, 11-13-2010

Excellent summary. Must read for all in quality and related fields. Thanks QP.

There will always be some argument on who was included and who was omitted. This seems a reasonable list though. Taguchi and Humphrey could surely make it, but then who do you omit?

My personal favorite remains JMJ, architect of quality.
--Anshuman Tiwari, 11-12-2010

It is very concise and informative. I am sure such information could help us and the new generation of people questing for quality prove that improving quality makes life safer, wonderful and enjoyable ... and above all makes the contributors to quality feel proud. Thanks QP!
--Rassoul Noorossana, 11-10-2010

The gurus still have so much to teach us. We would all be so much better off if politicians and financial institutions were true subscribers to their teachings.
--Paula Parsons, 11-10-2010

Juran has been a very practical & diversified contributor, taking into account many of the best contributions, knitting them together and applying them effectively.
--R.Venugopal, 11-10-2010

The work of Deming, Juran, Crosby and Feigenbaum has been a great inspirational force all along in my quality career.
--Afaq Ahmed, 11-09-2010

It is inspiring and very good for the mind and spirit. Quality is our world, and remembering the words of these experts motivates us to continue our path, gaining commitment from all our colleagues.

--Lucy M., 11-09-2010

An excellent summary of the six top quality gurus. Others may follow in time, but these men were outstanding. Feigenbaum, fortunately still alive, influenced me in 1971, having read his "Total Quality Control," published in 1961.
--Ian Hannah, 11-09-2010

--Sanjeev Khot, 11-09-2010

Great! I really enjoyed the article. Every quality practitioner should always remember the invaluable endeavors that have taken us to where we are today. And, with the same importance, we all should try our best to continue the way these gurus have paved with their tireless efforts to hand over an even more luminous quality torch.
--Hesam AREF KASHFI, 11-09-2010

The lesson learned from these and many other unsung gurus of quality is that, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, "Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time." So let us do our bit and leave at least a faint memory in the minds of our peers, staff and students.
--Suresh Patel, 11-09-2010

I think Dr. Genichi Taguchi should be added as one of the most important gurus of quality improvement. He emphasized that quality improvement began in the design/development stage and developed effective techniques for accomplishing this.
--Marilyn Hwan, 11-08-2010

Good intent and good work never die. A nice tribute to the personnel who made difference in the quality of life around the world.
--Syed Z. Ali, 11-08-2010

This is an excellent article to remember the quality of life of the six gurus, which expresses their features in the field of quality.
--Hitoshi Kamikubo, 11-08-2010

Very valuable resource for learning. Many thanks.
--Kennie, 11-08-2010

Good summary. Easy to read and remember. How about Mr. Taguchi of Japan?
--Getachew Degefu, 11-08-2010

The article brought up many good memories of meeting, working with and/or learning from Deming, Juran, Fiegenbaum and Crosby. "Constancy of purpose...". Another person who had a major role in publicizing quality for every person was NBC reporter Lloyd Dobbins, from his 1980 NBC White Paper, "If Japan Can, Why Can't We?" to his excellent 2006 sequel DVD "Good News... How Hospitals Heal Themselves."
--John Fechter, 11-08-2010

This is an excellent article about the trendsetting leaders of quality. I am grateful to know about their commitment and journey to make a difference in the world of quality. It is very inspiring for me to read their philosophic words and approaches that made things happen in the world of quality. I want to thank the QP staff for putting together this excellent article, especially for members like me who are new to quality world.
--Reddy Sama, 11-08-2010

Excellent summary!
--Carol Loulis, 11-08-2010

This is really a very good article to remember the people who made changes in the world of quality.

I think Watts Humphrey, who has made/is making an impact in the field of software development and maintenance, should also be considered as one of the gurus who is trying to bring changes to the contemporary industry.
--Kannan Vanni, 11-01-2010

I like it! Good to remember how we got here. Thanks QP!
--Dan Reid, 11-01-2010

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