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MB0044 : Write a brief note on PDCA cycle, Juran’s Quality Trilogy and Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality. List all the Quality Tools.

Posted on: September 19, 2011

MB0044  : Write a brief note on PDCA cycle, Juran’s Quality Trilogy and Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality. List all the Quality Tools.

Answer: – PDCA cycle:-

Plan–Do–Check–Act Cycle Also called: PDCA, plan–do–study–act (PDSA) cycle, Deming cycle, Shewhart cycle.


The plan–do–check–act cycle is a four-step model for carrying out change. Just as a circle has no end, the PDCA cycle should be repeated again and again for continuous improvement.

When to Use Plan-Do-Check-Act

  • As a model for continuous improvement.
  • When starting a new improvement project.
  • When developing a new or improved design of a process, product or service.
  • When defining a repetitive work process.
  • When planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problems or root causes.
  • When implementing any change.

Plan-Do-Check-Act Procedure

  1. Plan. Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
  2. Do. Test the change. Carry out a small-scale study.
  3. Study. Review the test, analyze the results and identify what you’ve learned.
  4. Act. Take action based on what you learned in the study step: If the change did not work, go through the cycle again with a different plan. If you were successful, incorporate what you learned from the test into wider changes. Use what you learned to plan new improvements, beginning the cycle again.
Juran’s quality triology

Juran uses his famous Universal Breakthrough Sequence to implement quality programmes. The universal breakthrough sequences are:

  1. Proof of need: There should be a compelling need to make changes.
  2. Project identification: Here what is to be changed is identified. Specific projects with time frames and the resource allocation are decided.
  3. Top management commitment: Commitment of the top management is to assign people and fix responsibilities to complete the project
  4. Diagnostic journey: Each team will determine whether the problems result from systemic causes or are random or are deliberately caused. Root causes are ascertained with utmost certainty.
  5. Remedial action: This is the stage when changes are introduced. Inspection, testing, and validation are also included at this point.
  6. Holding on to the gains: The above steps result in beneficiary results. Having records or all actions and consequences will help in further improvements. The actions that result in the benefits derived should be the norm for establishing standards.

Juran has categorised cost of quality into four categories:

1. Failure costs – Internal: These are costs of rejections, repairs in terms of materials, labour, machine time and loss of morale.

2. Failure costs – External: These are costs of replacement, on-site rework including   spare parts and expenses of the personnel, warranty costs and loss of goodwill.

3. Appraisal costs: These are costs of inspection, including maintenance of records, certification, segregation costs, and others.

4. Prevention costs: Prevention cost is the sequence of three sets of activities, Quality Planning, Quality Control, and Quality Improvement, forming the triology to achieve Total Quality Management.

Crosby’s absolutes of quality:-

Like Deming, Crosby also lays emphasis on top management commitment and responsibility for designing the system so that defects are not inevitable. He urged that there be no restriction on spending for achieving quality. In the long run, maintaining quality is more economical than compromising on its achievement. His absolutes can be listed as under:

  1. Quality is conformance to requirements, not ‘goodness’
  2. Prevention, not appraisal, is the path to quality
  3. Quality is measured as the price paid for non-conformance and as indices
  4. Quality originates in all factions. There are no quality problems. It is the people, designs, and processes that create problems

Crosby also has given 14 points similar to those of Deming. His approach emphasises on measurement of quality, increasing awareness, corrective action, error cause removal and continuously reinforcing the system, so that advantages derived are not lost over time. He opined that the quality management regimen should improve the overall health of the organisation and prescribed a vaccine. The ingredients are:

1) Integrity: Honesty and commitment help in producing everything right first time, every time

2) Communication: Flow of information between departments, suppliers, customers helps in identifying opportunities

3) Systems and operations: These should bring in a quality environment so that nobody is comfortable with anything less than the best.

Quality Tools:-

  1. Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone chart): Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.
  2. Check sheet: A structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data; a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.
  3. Control charts: Graphs used to study how a process changes over time.
  4. Histogram: The most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs.
  5. Pareto chart: Shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.
  6. Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship.
  7. Stratification: A technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace “stratification” with “flowchart” or “run chart”).

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