THAT STARTED THE QUALITY REVOLUTION
Crosby Associates (PCA) celebrated the 25th anniversary of the publication of
Philip B. Crosby's classic book, Quality Is Free in January of 2005.
a time when fellow gurus Deming, Juran, and Ishikawa were focused on the highly
technical aspects of quality measurement and control, Crosby's Quality Is Free
hit the bookstores with a simple but powerful message:
showed managers everywhere that doing things wrong made costs skyrocket. More
importantly, he showed that management was the root cause of these problems.
book set off a revolution in corporate thinking because it shifted the responsibility
for the quality of goods and services from the quality control department to the
corporate boardroom, attacked the entrenched notions of 'good enough' and Acceptable
Quality Levels (AQL), and introduced Zero Defects as the only acceptable performance
standard, setting the stage for the Six Sigma movement that followed in later
Before Crosby's best-selling book, it was commonly assumed that
quality was achieved through inspection. Inspectors were necessary to sort the
good from the bad, with ever more defect-free shipments requiring ever more examiners.
With this mindset, creating quality goods and services required increased expenditures.
Mr. Crosby broke that paradigm by showing the road to perfect goods and services
was through prevention, not inspection. The defect that is never created cannot
be missed. Identifying and eliminating the causes of problems reduces rework,
warranty costs, and inspection. Following Mr. Crosby's approach, creating quality
goods and services did not cost money, it saved money. In essence, quality is
free for enlightened organizations.
Mr. Crosby was a prime mover in the
quality business, first as head of quality for the global behemoth ITT and then
as one of the most highly respected and sought-after quality management consultants
and educators. With Quality Is Free he claimed his place among the best-selling
authors in the field, following that success with Quality
Without Tears, Completeness, The Art of Getting Your Own Sweet Way, Running
Things, and The Eternally Successful Organization - books that extended the basic
philosophy outlined in his groundbreaking work.