Who Are Your Quality Gurus?

A friend forwarded me a great link to the Management Encyclopedia website survey of the quality gurus.  Now this was an interesting read!  They have a list of 10 quality gurus, including:

  • W. Edwards Deming
  • Dr. Joseph Juran
  • Philip Crosby
  • Armand V. Feigenbaum
  • Dr. H. James Harrington
  • Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa
  • Dr. Walter A. Shewhart
  • Shigeo Shingo
  • Frederick Taylor
  • Dr. Genichi Taguchiave

Each of these men made significant contributions to improving our organizations and how we get things done.  When I was preparing for my PMP exam many years ago, I tried to summarize each quality guru in 5 words or less so I could remember them.  For example, in my mental list, Shewhart is “Plan-Do-Check-Act”, Juran is “Fit for use”, Shingo is “Just in Time (JIT) manufacturing”, and Crosby is “Do it right the first time.”  How did you remember these quality gurus for your PMP exam? Do you have any additional quality gurus to add to my list? If so, please tell me who they are and a little bit about them.

Two of the quality gurus found in this link were not even part of my studies, so I decided to learn more about them so I could add them to my list.  First, let’s look at Armand Feigenbaum. He focused on the idea of “total quality control” and this was the title of his first book published in 1951. His concepts use statistical techniques to discover and fix problems, targeting higher product quality and increased productivity.  I am adding him to my memory list as follows:  Feigenbaum – “Total Quality Control.” Then there is Dr. James Harrington and his focus on business process improvement. It’s easy to guess how he will be populated in my quality guru list, isn’t it?

In retrospect, my effort to encapsulate and remember the bodies of work generated by these quality gurus was high-level and somewhat short of the mark.  Reading the descriptions of each man and the summaries of their contributions to quality drove home to me how important they were to today’s organizations, processes, projects and people.

If you are looking to learn about the quality gurus and a slew of other topics as you prepare for your PMP exam, take a look at Learning Tree’s 5-day course on PMP exam preparation.  This course is certainly a great place to begin or finalize your PMP examination preparation activities and also garner the required 35 hours of project management training needed to apply for the exam.

Susan Weese

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