July 28th, 2012 Philip Crosby
Philip Crospy promoted the principle of "Doing It Right The First Time" (DRIFT). Philip Crosby is a management guru, businessman and author who is closely associated with the speciality field of quality management practices.
Crosby began his career as an assembly line inspector and tester, he progressed to corporate vice president and then in 1979 went on to become chairman and CEO of the management consulting firm which he founded, Philip Crosby Associates Inc. This consulting group provided educational courses in quality management both at their headquarters in Winter Park, Florida and at eight other locations across the globe.
The formation of Philip Crosby Associates coincided with the 1979 publication of his first business book Quality of Free, which would soon become a best seller, itï¿½s popularity accredited to the economic climate within the US during the late 70s and early 80s where North American manufacturers were losing market share to Japanese competitors, largely due to the superiority of Japanese products.
Crosby's solution to the quality crisis was to develop and promote the principle of "Doing It Right The First Time (DRIFT)", he dissected this into four major principles:
1. Quality is conformance to requirements
2. The management system is prevention
3. The performance standard is zero defects
4. The measurement system is the cost of quality
The principles Crosby conveys on zero defects are not unlike the focus of the modern Six Sigma movement. Crosby states that zero defects is not something that originates from the assembly line, but is more of an ethos that management should adopt and promote, setting an atmosphere and tone for employees to follow.
Before his death in 2001 Crosby published a further 12 books, all of which became international best-sellers and have been translated into 15 languages, ensuring that his legacy will live on inspiring better quality within thousands of organizations across the globe.
Crosby's name is best known in relations to the concepts of Do It Right First Time (DRIFT) and Zero Defects. He considers traditional quality control, acceptable quality limits and waivers of sub-standard products to represent failure rather than assurance of success. Crosby therefore defines quality as conformance to the requirements which the company itself has established for its products based directly on its customers' needs. He believes that since most companies have organisations and systems that allow deviation from what is really required, manufacturing companies spend around 20% of their revenues doing things wrong and doing them over again. According to Crosby this can be 35% of operating expenses for service companies.
He does not believe that workers should take prime responsibility for poor quality; the reality, he says, is that you have to get management straight. In the Crosby scheme of things, management sets the tone on quality and workers follow their example; whilst employees are involved in operational difficulties and draw them to management's attention, the initiative comes from the top. Zero defects means that the company's objective is 'doing things right first time'. This will not prevent people from making mistakes, but will encourage everyone to improve continuously.
In the Crosby approach the Quality Improvement message is spread by creating a core of quality specialists within the company. There is strong emphasis on the top-down approach, since he believes that senior management is entirely responsible for quality.
The ultimate goal is to train all the staff and give them the tools for quality improvement, to apply the basic precept of Prevention Management in every area. This is aided by viewing all work as a process or series of actions conducted to produce a desired result. A process model can be used to ensure that clear requirements have been defined and understood by both the supplier and the customer. He also views quality improvement as an ongoing process since the work 'programme' implies a temporary situation.
Bibliography of Philip Crosby
Crosby, Philip (1967). Cutting the cost of quality. Boston, Industrial Education Institute. OCLC 616899.
Crosby, Philip (1969). The strategy of situation management. Boston, Industrial Education Institute. OCLC 13761.
Crosby, Philip (1979). Quality is Free. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014512-1.
Crosby, Philip (1981). The Art of Getting Your Own Sweet Way. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014527-X.
Crosby, Philip (1984). Quality Without Tears. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014511-3.
Crosby, Philip (1986). Running things. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014513-X.
Crosby, Philip (1988). The Eternally Successful Organization. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014533-4.
Crosby, Philip (1989). Let's talk quality. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014565-2.
Crosby, Philip (1990). Leading, the art of becoming an executive. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014567-9.
Crosby, Philip (1994). Completeness: Quality for the 21st Century. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27024-3.
Crosby, Philip (1995). Philip Crosby's Reflections on Quality. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014525-3.
Crosby, Philip (1996). Quality is still free: Making Quality Certain in Uncertain Times. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014532-6.
Crosby, Philip (1997). The Absolutes of Leadership (Warren Bennis Executive Briefing). Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-0942-4.
Crosby, Philip (1999). Quality and Me: Lessons from an Evolving Life. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-4702-4.