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Dr. Ishikaway - Quality Guru

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Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Quality Guru
Adam Finley
Total Quality Management
Professor Lee Thompson
March 24th, 2013

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Quality Guru The importance of quality assurance in a professional environment has evolved over the years as we have learned the direct and indirect impacts that quality control plays in the success of an organization. Quality revolves around two main focus points in the business field; “the design of goods and services and the control of quality during execution of manufacturing and service delivery” (Evans & Lindsay 2011, p. 5). One of the earliest pioneers in the quality revolution was a man by the name of Kaoru Ishikawa, a quality control advocate who’s strategies aided the Japanese recovery after World War II (Smith, 2011). Through Dr. Ishikawa’s bottom-up approach to quality, the understanding of customers became the primary focus in advancing the companywide approach to quality. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa is one of the world’s primary leaders in quality control. He wrote a total of 647 articles and 31 books that built a name for himself as a quality management innovator (Smith, 2011). Not only has he sharpened Total Quality Management with his ideas that are still being used today, he has also helped thousands of companies produce higher quality products at lower costs. Dr. Ishikawa received his doctorate of philosophy in chemical engineering from the University of Tokyo and later taught there as a professor of engineering for many years ("qualitygurus.com"). In 1962, he introduced the concept of quality circles. In 1949, Dr. Ishikawa created and delivered the first every quality control force for the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers. One of the greatest philosophies that Dr. Ishikawa introduced to the business world was that quality must begin with education and end with education. He believed that the first step in quality is knowing the requirements of the customers of your business (Evans & Lindsay 2011, p. 110). Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa provided continuous support to the revolution of quality management and was a high figure in Japan for doing so until his death in 1989. Two of the most common concepts that have been adopted today based on Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa’s innovations are quality circles and the cause and effect diagram. “The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers estimated that registration in quality circles in Japan grew from 400 members in 1962 to 200,000 members in 1968 to more than 700,000 members in 1978” (Evans & Lindsay 2011, p. 264). The impressive incline in worker teams that meet regularly to discuss work-related problems was due to the innovative concept of quality circles that Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa introduced during his reign in quality control. The cause and effect diagram, also known as the fishbone shaped diagram, is a way of improving the performance of teams by discovering the room causes of quality problems. This diagram became one of the seven quality tools and is recognized around the world for it’s contribution to improvement (Smith, 2011). The implications of Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa’s ideas for the future of Total Quality Management can be observed by the effect that his concepts have had on modern day business models long after his passing. Japan would not be the country it is today without his innovations in quality control that pushed recovery after World War II. Dr. Ishikawa’s suggestions to improve products by providing training in basic problem solving techniques seems simple today because of how widely accepted his teachings became. Dr. Ishikawa promoted greater involvement with all employees because he recognized the direct impact each employee had with quality control. It’s for these reasons, and many more, that Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa is known today as the grandfather of the quality movement (Smith, 2011).

References
Evans, J. R., & Lindsay, W. M. (2010). Managing for quality and performance excellence. (8 ed.). New York, NY: South-Western Pub. Qualitygurus.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.qualitygurus.com/gurus/list-of-gurus/kaoru-ishikawa/
Smith, J. (2011, oct 06). Management: The lasting legacy of the modern quality giants Retrieved from http://www.qualitymag.com/articles/88493-management--the-lasting-legacy-of-the-modern-quality-giants

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