Modern day Quality Assurance in an organization is focused on Total quality approach which is the result of the evolution of contributions of certain pioneers of Quality and Quality thoughts i.e. the Quality experts /gurus (Smith, 2009; Sallis, 2002). These include: Edwards Deming, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Walter Shewart, Joseph Juran, Genichi Taguchi, Admiral Hyman Rickover, Philip Crosby, Kaoru Ishikawa, Armand V. Feigenbaum, among others (Sallis, 2002; Smith, 2009; Suarez, 1992). The Total quality approach has the sole aim of ‘preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers’ (Wikipedia, 2014).Quality on the other hand has different dimensions. For example, one dimension sees Quality as “Conformance to a specification or standard” (Walsh, 1991), while another defines Quality as “fitness for purpose” (Ball, 1985; Crawford 1991) and so on. The purpose of this literature therefore, is to discuss thoroughly the contributions of four of these Quality Experts (Walter A. Shewhart, Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran and Philip Crosby) to the development of modern day quality assurance in an organization. Modern day Quality assurance cannot be discussed without mentioning the contributions of Walter A. Shewhart, who was born in 1891 and died in1967. Walter was one of the gurus who started the Quality revolution. He was a physicist who combined statistics, Engineering and Economics to bring efficiency and quality in the operations of the industry (Sallis, 2002). To begin with, he developed the statistical process chart (SPC) in the early 1920s, which was an evolution of the ideas preached by Frederick Winslow Taylor in his Scientific Management (Sallis, 2002). The SPC applied Statistical methods to quality control. SPC monitors a process rather than waiting till after production to inspect the products for any defects. He focused on controlling processes, making quality relevant not only for finished products, but for the processes that created those products. This contribution of Shewhart led to the development and use of various Tools of quality such as Control chart, Cause and effect Diagram, Pareto Chart, Scatter Diagram, etc. The seven basic tools are used in an organization to provide information about problems in the organization. It also aids the managers to come up with solutions to these problems. A specific example is the Pareto chart. An organization uses this to identify a set of priorities. The organization charts a number of variables related to a specific concern and record the number of occurrences. By so doing, the organization is able to determine the parameters that have the highest impact on the specific concern. An example of the chart is shown below:
An organization includes training on these tools in its orientation as part of its quality improvement process (Tutorials point, 2014). Secondly, he developed the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) which is priceless in modern day quality assurance. The PDCA is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products (Wikipedia, 2014).The PDCA was much popularized by Dr. Deming. Shewhart again trained other quality gurus such as Dr. Joseph M. Juran and Dr. W. Deming. These gurus have in turn impacted greatly on modern day Quality Assurance in an organization by publishing timely books, originating Principles that are of profound value to Quality Assurance today, to mention, but a few. Another Guru who has immensely contributed to the development of modern day Quality assurance in an Organisation is Dr. Edwards Deming. He is also referred to as the ‘Father of Quality’ since he was one of the pioneers who started the quality revolution in the world. His contributions to modern day Quality Assurance have been elaborated upon in the subsequent paragraphs. To begin with, he developed a blue print to guide organizations to...
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