Quality management history, gurus, TQM theories, process improvement, and organizational ‘excellence’
The history of quality management, from mere ‘inspection’ to Total Quality Management, and its modern ‘branded interpretations such as ‘Six Sigma’, has led to the development of essential processes, ideas, theories and tools that are central to organizational development, change management, and the performance improvements that are generally desired for individuals, teams and organizations.
These free resources, materials and tools are an excellent guide to the quality management area, for practical application in organizations, for study and learning, and for teaching and training others.
These free pdf materials are provided by permission of the UK Department of Industry – now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform – which is gratefully acknowledged. The materials listed and linked from
this page are subject to Crown Copyright.
Please note that since the replacement of the UK Department of Industry by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the branding on the materials is now obsolete. Nevertheless, since the Quality Management technical and historical content is unaffected by the DTI branding the materials remain relevant for training, learning and reference.
It is appropriate to note the passing a little while back now, of Joseph Juran, a seminal figure in the history of quality management, who died 28 February 2008, age 103. Juran did more than teach the Japanese about quality management. He was also arguably the first quality expert to emphasise that no quality management system works unless people are empowered and committed to take responsibility for quality – as an ongoing process – effectively for quality to become part of part of people’s behaviour and attitudes – an ethos. The section below on Kaizen explains the connections between the true ethos of quality management, and the positive ethical management of people.
Further total quality management information and quality management terminology explanations are on the Six Sigma page.
History of quality management
The roots of Total Quality Management can be traced to early 1920’s production quality control ideas, and notably the concepts developed in Japan beginning in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, pioneered there by Americans Feigenbum, Juran and Deming… More about Quality Management and TQM history.
Quality management gurus and theories
Quality Management resulted mainly from the work of the quality gurus and their theories: the American gurus featured in the 1950’s Japan: Joseph Juran, W Edwards Deming, and Armand Feigenbum; the Japanese quality gurus who developed and extended the early American quality ideas and models: Kaoru Ishikawa, Genichi Taguchi, and Shigeo Shingo; and the 1970-80’s American Western gurus, notably Philip Crosby and Tom Peters, who further extended the Quality Management concepts after the Japanese successes… More about the Quality Management gurus and their theories, including the development and/or use of the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle, Pareto analysis, cause and effect diagrams, stratification, check-sheets, histograms, scatter-charts, process control charts, system design, parameter design, tolerance design (‘Taguchi methodology’), Quality Improvement Teams (QIT), Just In Time (JIT), Management By Walking About (MBWA), McKinsey 7-S Framework, etc.
Total quality management (TQM)