GURUS OF QUALITY
by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor
e’s witnessed two world wars, numerous Hard Work From an Early Age
other military conflicts, the rise (and fall) of Juran’s could be considered a classic Horatio Alger
countless new inventions, humans’ first story. Born in Romania on Dec. 24, 1904, he emigrated
space explorations and 17 U.S. presidents. He’s sur- to Minneapolis with his family in 1912 in hope of
vived anti-Semitism, poverty, emigration, the child- escaping poverty and the threat of violence against
hood loss of his mother and the Great Depression. Jews. Unfortunately, it took a while for the family’s
Living through 100 years of such profound changes financial fortunes to improve, especially after the
and events would be noteworthy enough. But Joseph death of Juran’s mother in 1920 from tuberculosis.
M. Juran has been much more than just a casual From almost the moment he arrived in the United
observer. He has participated vigorously in and con- States, Juran, along with his siblings, worked to aug-
tributed extensively to the growth of industry, society ment the family’s income. In his memoirs, Architect of
and—perhaps most importantly to us—quality. Quality, Juran estimates he held 16 jobs during 12
years in Minneapolis—everything from newspaper
hawker to grocery clerk to bookkeeper to janitor to
warehouse “bundle boy.” He worked for a printer,
the state Prohibition Committee and Burlington
In 50 Words
Or Less Railroad.
Though child labor typically has a negative con-
notation, Juran believes it helped his siblings and
• Joseph M. Juran’s life story includes overcoming
him in many ways:
many obstacles to become one of quality’s most
We grew up with no fear of long hours or hard
work. We learned to seek out opportunities and to
influential pioneers and leaders.
use ingenuity to gain from them. We accepted the
responsibility for building our own safety nets. By
• As he approaches his 100th birthday, he shares— enduring the heat of the fiery furnace, we acquired
a work ethic that served us well for the rest of our
through his memoirs and in an exclusive interview—
insights and highlights from his long, productive
Juran also found all his work experiences educa-
career, plus advice for quality professionals.
tional. And despite his work schedule, he never
neglected his formal education, which his parents
I MAY 2004 I 25
100 Years of Juran 1926
Electric’s new inspec-
Minnesota with 1925
12.24.04 tion statistical depart-
Served as second ment, one of the first
Became naturalized in electrical engi-
lieutenant in the U.S. in industrial history.
U.S. citizen. neering (first in
Emigrated with family Army Signal Corps
family to attend
to Minneapolis. Reserve, Signal
and graduate from
1923 Married Sadie Shapiro.
Held first job (of 16 held The couple had four chil-
Published for first time,
before age 20), selling dren and, eventually,
analysis; later pro-
as chess columnist for
Minneapolis Tribune at numerous grandchildren
moted to captain.
streetcar stop. and great-grandchildren.
strongly believed in and required all their children Intrigued by the early success of the telephone indus-
to pursue. Juran excelled in elementary and high try, he accepted the Western Electric offer to become
school, especially in math, and was usually two an engineer at the Hawthorne manufacturing plant in
years ahead of other children his age. Cicero, IL. His starting salary was $27 a week.
Eventually the family fortunes improved, and
Assigned to Quality
Juran was able to direct his earnings into a savings
At the age of 20, Juran embarked upon a career
account for higher education. In 1920 he enrolled in
that was to last more than 70 years. At first, he had
the University of Minnesota, majoring in electrical
no idea it would be in quality. After a week of ori-
engineering—the first of his family to attend college.
entation training at Western Electric, he was as-
Though funding this education remained a “pre-
signed, perhaps randomly, to the inspection branch
carious balancing act” each year, Juran found his
of the Hawthorne plant.
biggest challenge was maintaining even a C grade
From that rather unremarkable beginning,
average. Because good grades had come so easily to
Juran’s career would evolve to encompass:
• Serving in one of the first inspection statistical
departments in industry.
• Being promoted to a managerial position, then
to a division chief, at the age of 24.
• Earning a law degree (as a backup employ-
ment alternative during the Depression).
• Moving to Western Electric/AT&T’s headquar-
ters to work in corporate engineering.
• Serving in the statistics, requisitions, accounts
and control sections of the Lend-Lease
Administration, which procured and leased
arms, equipment and supplies to World War II
Mr. and Mrs. Juran: Juran met Sadie Shapiro in • Teaching industrial engineering at New York
1924; they married two years later and will celebrate
University as professor and department chair.
their 78th anniversary in June. Here they appear in their
• Becoming a management—then quality man-
high school graduation photos.
agement—consultant, lecturer, author and
leader with international influence.
• Creating a corporation (the Juran Institute,
him during his earlier schooling, he had never
now celebrating its 25th year) and nonprofit
learned to study, and he continued to work through-
organization (the Juran Foundation) to carry
out college. He also discovered extracurricular activ-
on his work.
ities such as chess—which developed into a lifelong
In many ways, Juran’s life and career have mir-
passion—and the Reserve Officers Training Corps
rored world events throughout the 20th century.
(ROTC), which he saw as an opportunity to serve
For example, he has described the period from
his adopted country. (It didn’t hurt that he received
June 1928, when his first child was born, to June
a warm army overcoat as a bonus for signing up.)
1929, just before the Depression, as the happiest 12
Despite the distractions, Juran made it to gradua-
months of his life.
tion, when he was recruited by six companies. He
During a recent interview, Juran explained that
received offers from three—General Electric, Western
besides being enchanted by and in awe of the miracle
Union and Western Electric, part of the Bell system.
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org
1928 Published first quality related 1937 Discovered work of Vilfredo
paper, “Inspectors’ Errors in
Promoted to first
Pareto (on the distribution of
Moved to New York to
Quality Control,” in Mechanical
managerial job, Began work in the
wealth among a few families)
Engineering, originally presented
chief of quality statistics division of
during benchmarking visit to
industrial engineer at
at American Society of Mechanical
inspections (new the Lend-Lease
General Motors’ headquarters.
Engineers (ASME) conference.
Western Electric Administration; on
department of 40 loan to the World
became active in pro- Began eight-year stint as
inspectors who 1936 War II effort origi-
fessional organizations reviewer of technical books for
randomly checked nally for only six
Promoted at 24 years Earned juris doctor such as the Society for the New York Times (later
work of product weeks, starting on
old to chief of Western degree from Loyola the Advancement for donated thousands of science
inspectors). Christmas Day (just
Electric’s inspection University Chicago Management, American and engineering books he
after Pearl Harbor).
results division, oversee- School of Law and Management Assoc. reviewed to the Engineering
ing five departments. passed Illinois bar. and ASME. Societies Library).
of birth, he and his wife, Sadie, were enjoying a “time though he acknowledges he helped broaden quality
of benevolence. The world was benign,” he added. from a narrow statistical field to one encompassing
They were experiencing exciting inventions, such as management. During his career, he said, he ran into
the telephone, and his career at Western Electric was many human relations problems, not only his own
very positive. He was moving up in the hierarchy but ones among other people. To him, those prob-
into positions of influence. “It was a time of peace; lems all had one root cause: resistance to change or,
our hopes were being fulfilled,” he continued. “It was as he also has called it, cultural resistance.
pre-Depression, pre that mess in Europe [the rise of
the Nazis and World War II], and we were innocents.
Every decade after that had trouble.”2
At the age of 20, Juran
Yet Juran always found ways to combat the trou-
ble, such as using his skills and experience in sta-
embarked upon a career
tistical analysis and engineering to improve
purchasing, budgeting and paperwork gridlock for
that was to last more
Lend-Lease. He also participated in extra activities
and organizations to improve management within
than 70 years. At first, he
the U.S. government in general.
After the war, he turned his passion for manage-
had no idea it would be in
ment into a way to help companies and students
cope with the explosive growth of U.S. industry
and the economy. That help quickly extended to
companies in other countries—most notably
Japan—also experiencing postwar challenges.
Though Juran’s career change from the corpo-
rate and government worlds to teaching and free-
lance work benefited many organizations and After so many years of struggling to work well
quality professionals, his reasons for the switch with others—then seeing many of the same issues
were not all altruistic. At both Western Electric among managers and employees of his clients—his
and Lend-Lease, he had impressed peers and discovery of the source, he said, was a “flash of illu-
superiors alike with his sharp mind and technical mination.” It came in 1956 while reading Margaret
skills but had caused problems with his sharp Mead’s book Cultural Patterns and Technical Change,
tongue and inability to understand and accept the which described resistance encountered by United
needs of others. Thus, he theorized, “I am just too Nations teams trying to improve conditions in
individualistic to fit into large organizations.”3 developing countries. Mead attributed the resis-
While he would later decide he was off base, his tance to a clash between two cultures.4
faulty original conclusion led him headlong into a Juran immediately saw parallels in business,
focus on managing for quality, a concept he such as clashes between management and employ-
expanded beyond purely technical elements to ees or situations in which changes he had recom-
include the all-important human ones. mended were rejected by clients for no logical
reason. He wrote about his revelation in a paper,
The Human Dimension then later expanded on his thinking in his book
Adding the human dimension to quality is one of Managerial Breakthrough.5
the achievements for which Juran is most widely Today Juran sees nothing original about his think-
credited. He’s not sure he deserves that credit, ing. “Maybe I was the first to apply it to quality.”6
I MAY 2004 I 27
100 Years of Juran 1945-51
Started own freelance con-
Left Lend-Lease and sultancy with about 40
Western Electric; start- clients, such as International
ed part-time appoint- Latex Co., Bausch and Lomb
ment as professor of Optical Co. and General
Began management con- Became founding
industrial engineering Foods Corp.; over four
Appointed assistant adminis-
sulting on a per project member of the
and chair of the decades client list grew to
trator in charge of the reports
basis with Wallace Clark’s American Society for
department at New include dozens of North
and records division of Lend-
consulting company, Quality Control and
York University; American and international
Lease, which asked Western
assisting clients such as the editorial board of
evolved to full-time organizations, such as
Electric to extend Juran’s
Gillette, the Hamilton Industrial Quality
after a year, then back Armour & Co., Otis Elevator
leave of absence then and
Watch Co. and a division Control, the Society’s
to part-time adjunct Co., Xerox Corp. and the
each year thereafter during
of Borg-Warner. publication.
professor. U.S. Navy.
remainder of war.
A New Science were to nonprofit organizations, such as ASQ
sections, which allowed him to fulfill his urge
Whether he deserves the credit for it, bringing
to serve society.
the human element to quality would be a notable
• A significant role in Japan’s emergence as a
accomplishment all on its own. But Juran is known
world quality leader and economic power
for so many more contributions to the quality field:
within a few decades after World War II.
• The Pareto principle, or 80-20 rule, based on
This, of course, is just a partial list. You can read
the work of Vilfredo Pareto, a 19th century
more of his contributions in the comments from
engineer and economist who found the great-
other quality leaders and experts starting on p. 31.
est distribution of wealth went to a few fami-
Asked during the interview what he considers his
lies, then developed a logarithmic curve for the
greatest contribution, Juran said, “I contributed to a
data. Juran applied this concept to quality, stat-
new science: managing for quality.” He considers
ing 80% of problems come from 20% of causes,
this an offshoot of general management but also a
and management should concentrate on that
science in its own right. “At the time, I didn’t realize
20% “vital few.”
I was contributing to it, but in retrospect, I believe
• The Juran trilogy, which outlined three key
that’s what I’ll be remembered for after I’m gone.”
components of managing for quality: plan-
Juran also has a favorite period of his career: his
ning, control and improvement.
nearly 40 years in consulting. “I wasn’t fit for big
bureaucracies; I failed in two,” he said. “But I fell
into the ideal with consulting. I was well suited to
Juran has long had one freelancing.”
overarching piece of Scratching the Itch
Another part of his career Juran has always
how-to advice for quality enjoyed is writing. During our interview, he said
that as a youth he created his own little world by
professionals, a lesson he reading books, which led him to develop an appre-
ciation for authors and an “itch for writing.”
gleaned from his career: While he was at Western Electric, policies and
red tape prevented him from writing for any exter-
become bilingual. nal publications. Once he was free of that environ-
ment—first in government, then in academia and
especially as a consultant—he “burst out with a
• Juran’s Quality Handbook, considered one of the vengeance,” he said. “I’ve been writing ever since.”
seminal quality references. Originally pub- Juran related an experience with writing for
lished in 1951 as the Quality Control Handbook Industrial Quality Control, the first magazine of
(priced at $10 a copy) and now on the fifth what was then ASQC. One of the first editors,
edition (up to $150 a copy), it had sold more Mason Westcott, was a statistician, as were many
than 230,000 copies through only the fourth of the leaders and members of the Society.
edition. Through his consulting, Juran conducted a study
• Hundreds of papers, articles and speeches, as of 39 companies—not necessarily in a controlled
well as more than 30 books, either first editions fashion, but he “had spies in the companies who
or substantial revisions of some of those first gave me information.” One of his observations
editions. His books have been translated into from this informal study was that statistics was
at least 12 languages. Many of his speeches overdone; in his view, it was an important element
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org
1951 First introduced the
Sixth book, Planning and Practices Western world to quali-
1950-91 Published first edition
in Quality Control, published by ty circles, which he had
of Quality Control
Took 178 trips abroad JUSE in Japanese, compilation of studied in Japan, in a
Handbook, based on
to lecture, consult, Juran’s lectures from 1954. presentation to the
helped lay the founda-
teach courses and European Organization
tion for the science of
from consulting work
attend quality confer- for Quality Control’s
managing for quality;
Read Margaret Mead’s book Cultural
on managing for qual-
ences in 34 different annual conference; also
the book also estab-
ity (became Juran’s Patterns and Technical Change; imme-
countries, addressing first predicted Japan
lished the first two
Quality Handbook by diately developed conclusion—which
more than 20,000 man- was headed for world
fifth edition). he later wrote and spoke about in
agers and specialists quality leadership with-
ment and quality con-
many works—that her concept of cul-
and logging more than in 20 years.
trol—of what would
tural resistance applied as much to
5 million air miles. later become known as
business situations as to those
the Juran trilogy.
between people of different countries.
Juran, Deming and Japan
In many ways, Joseph M. Juran’s career in quality has quality problems had their origins in the system, not the
worker. We deplored the efforts to solve problems by
paralleled that of W. Edwards Deming. For example:
means of colorful banners and slogans. We were aware
• Both worked at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant in
the leadership in quality must come from top manage-
the 1920s, though according to Juran, Deming did not
work in quality there, and the two did not meet until We also had our differences. Deming was convinced
the 1940s.1 applying statistical methods was the complete remedy for
• Both were instrumental in helping Japanese compa- quality problems. I agreed statistics was an essential ele-
nies revive and drastically improve the quality of their ment of the remedy, but I knew much more was needed.3
products after World War II.
• Both are widely recognized as Though Juran and
pioneers—even gurus—of quality, Deming never collaborat-
with each having core concepts ed, their work in Japan is
and principles attributed to him. one of the seminal con-
Beyond that, they seem to have had tributions of each man’s
little in common. In fact, some people career. Juran has often
in the quality community have always cited the rapid improve-
wondered about a rivalry between the ment in postwar Japan
two pioneers. For instance, the as one of the major qual-
Japanese Union of Scientists and ity events of the 20th
Engineers (JUSE) created a national century, and he gives
quality prize for Japan and named it Deming and himself at
Gurus Galore: At the 1986 ASQ Annual
after Deming, not Juran. least partial credit. “Both
Quality Congress, Juran (second from right)
Juran quickly dispels any such met with W. Edwards Deming (seated) and, of us brought structured
from left, H. James Harrington, Mason Westcott
notions of a rivalry, as well as any training courses to
and Kaoru Ishikawa.
rumors about collaboration between Japan—he in statistical
the two. “We were good friends,” he quality control, I in man-
stated in a recent interview. “We aging for quality. JUSE
never collaborated because we were really in different adapted these to the Japanese culture and then
fields. Deming was really a statistician. I started out as an used them to train tens of thousands of industrial
engineer and became a manager. We never had occasion personnel.”4
to collaborate.” 2
In his memoirs, Juran compares their work:
1. Joseph M. Juran, Architect of Quality, McGraw-Hill, 2003.
2. Personal interview with Joseph M. Juran, March 2, 2004.
Deming and I agreed on most fundamentals. We were 3. Juran, Architect of Quality, see reference 1.
both crusaders for good quality. We agreed the main 4. Ibid.
I MAY 2004 I 29
100 Years of Juran 1978
Planning and Analysis Incorporated the Juran Institute
with Frank Gryna, intend- Inc., at first to invest in transfer-
ed to help readers pre- ring his store of quality knowl-
course and book
pare for ASQC’s certified edge into a set of 16 videotapes,
1967 on Upper
1968-79 quality engineer exam. which became part of a “Juran
on Quality Improvement” pack-
Began offering one- Served as contributing editor to and Quality.
age that also included 50 work-
week training course, Quality Progress from its launch 1975
books, two leader’s manuals
“Management of as ASQC’s flagship publication;
Began writing an occasional column in QP and three books. The institute
Quality Control,” one also published the first of many
called “Then and Now,” addressing a variety of eventually grew to offer con-
of the first to broaden articles in QP, “Operator
topics, including a mea culpa about the origins sulting services, workshops,
quality training Errors—Time for a New Look,”
of the Pareto principle and how he invented the papers and additional books
beyond statistical on what he called the “zero
concept of the vital few and trivial many. and tapes.
tools to management. defects fad” of the 1960s.
taken. “The quality manager would be the secretary
in quality but shouldn’t be treated as the “be-all
of this committee and would drive setting the top
quality goals of the organization and serve as the
From his observations, Juran wrote a paper, which
scorekeeper for progress toward those goals.”
he sent to Westcott—who rejected it because Juran
While acknowledging most quality professionals
wouldn’t change the part about statistics being
are not in the position to propose such a committee
overdone. As what Juran calls a
within their organizations—“that looks like self-
consolation prize, Westcott gave
aggrandizement”—they can propose quality goals
him a column to write. “Man-
be included in the overall business plan. To accom-
agement Corner” debuted in
plish this inclusion, those goals have to be stated in
the September 1951 issue of
financial terms—back to his original lesson.
Industrial Quality Control.7
Juran cites Japan often while talking about quality
Two months later, the maga-
in the United States. In his view, Japan is the world
zine also published an article
quality leader (and is bringing along other Asian
by Juran called “Directions for
countries, such as South Korea and now China),
ASQC,” in which he expressed
while America is in the lead in only a few industries.
his dissatisfaction with the
Generally, he said, we’re at an impasse.
statistical orientation of the
“We need to get off the dime,” he said. “Breaking
the impasse is not going to happen easily. We’re not
Remarkably, at the age of 99,
as bad as the Japanese were before and just after
Juran is writing another book,
World War II, but we’re just adequate.”
in collaboration with one of his
He doesn’t have much hope for Six Sigma as qual-
grandsons. It will address lead-
ity’s savior, he said. Nor does he especially like it,
ership aspects of managing for
Where Do We Go From particularly all the hype, which he blames somewhat
quality, he said, with what he
Here? Juran ends a lecture at on the media, and the colored belts, because usually
considers a unique slant: a
they’re not accompanied by any certification. “Six
a 1985 conference in Portugal. strong how-to section.
Sigma is just a new name for old quality,” he added.
Finance, Six Sigma and ASQ “It will quickly go the way of other fads, like reengi-
Juran has long had one overarching piece of
One of the problems, he said, is there’s not really
how-to advice for quality professionals, a lesson he
enough research to know whether Six Sigma works.
gleaned from his career: become bilingual, mean-
And he believes ASQ should be making that re-
ing learn to communicate with senior managers by
converting quality data into the language of busi-
He has an additional message for ASQ. To protect
ness and finance.
the value of its certifications—which many people,
During our interview, Juran took that lesson one
including Juran, believe have been downgraded by
step farther. For quality to have a seat at the execu-
Six Sigma—he suggests ASQ “look sideways” at
tive table, he advised, we should look to finance as
other industries, organizations and certifications. The
an example. “Most large companies have a finance
main example he notes is the CPA.
committee, made up of vice presidents from differ-
To become a CPA, he explained, you have to attain
ent areas, plus the CEO,” he explained. “The com-
a certain level of college coursework and experience
mittee sets the top financial goals for the company,
before you can even sit for the CPA exam. He’s not
and the CFO, as secretary, keeps score.”
sure all this happens for ASQ certifications, let alone
Juran sees business moving toward having a sim-
noncertified Six Sigma belts. “I’d like to see ASQ lead
ilar quality committee at the top of each company, a
the effort to make the process and training for the
step he said some Japanese companies have already
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org
Received Japanese emper- Created the nonprofit
Conducted the “Last Word”
emeritus of the Juran Served as founding
or’s award of the Order of Juran Foundation to
tour, a final one-day course
Institute, replacing him- member of the
the Sacred Treasure, Second provide service by iden-
presented in about 20 U.S.
self as chairman and Malcolm Baldrige
Class (highest award avail- tifying quality problems
and Canadian cities.
CEO to be free of daily National Quality
able to a non-Japanese), for of society and develop-
operations. Award Board of
the “development of quality ing solutions, which it
control in Japan and the did by awarding grants
facilitation of the U.S. and to schools for scholar-
Japanese friendship.” ships, to conferences Published A History of
Published Juran on Planning
and to the Malcolm Managing for Quality
for Quality, which established
Baldrige National through the Juran
Named Honorary the third management
Quality Award. Foundation.
Member of ASQC. process of the Juran trilogy.
quality profession similar to that of the CPA,”
Thank Your Lucky Stars
So now ASQ has its vision; what about one
for quality professionals? Juran points us to the
Quality Progress recently asked a variety of quality profes-
conclusion of his memoirs:
sionals to comment on Joseph M. Juran’s greatest contribution
To those whose careers are in the field of to quality. Here’s what they say:
managing for quality, thank your lucky stars.
Your field will grow extensively during your
Dr. Juran’s longevity, persistence, leadership and profound
lifetime, especially in three of our giant
knowledge are the epitome of quality leadership to which
industries—health, education and govern-
ment. There will be exciting opportunities many aspire and for which much of the world is grateful. As
for innovation and service to society. 9
we all celebrate his 100th birthday, we also celebrate a near
centennial’s worth of contributions that have helped our orga-
And for anyone hoping to live as long and
nizations improve directly and indirectly and will undoubted-
productive a life as Juran has, he attributes his
ly be carried forward for many, many generations.
to three things: “Luck, genes and habits—in
REFERENCES PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE, MICROSOFT
1. Joseph M. Juran, Architect of Quality, McGraw-Hill, CHAIR, ASQ JURAN MEDAL COMMITTEE
2. Personal interview with Joseph M. Juran, March 2,
have had the good fortune of knowing Dr. Juran for about
3. Juran, Architect of Quality, see reference 1. 25 years. It was an extraordinary experience to work with him
4. Margaret Mead, Cultural Patterns and Technical at the Juran Institute for almost six years just prior to his re-
Change, first edition, UNESCO, 1955. tirement.
5. Joseph M. Juran, Managerial Breakthrough,
When I was first thrust into quality as a banker in 1979, ASQ
recommended I attend Dr. Juran’s American Management
6. Personal interview, see reference 2.
Assoc. course on quality management. After the course I con-
7. Joseph M. Juran, “Management Corner,” Industrial
tinued to call him and send him what I was working on week-
Quality Control, September 1951.
ly. I had no idea who he was back then. He always returned
8. Joseph M. Juran, “Directions for ASQC,” Industrial
Quality Control, November 1951. my phone calls, faxes and mail with feedback and encourage-
9. Juran, Architect of Quality, see reference 1. ment. As I look back, I am blown away at the attention he gave
10. Personal interview, see reference 2.
me in light of the high level of clients and executives with
whom he was engaged.
I’ll share a story he told me one lonely night when we were
ASQ archives and website, www.asq.org.
together on a consulting assignment. He told me of what he
Industrial Quality Control, March 1946.
thought was one of the biggest mistakes he had ever made. The
Juran, Joseph M., personal résumé.
Japanese approached Dr. Juran many years ago and asked if
Juran, Joseph M., “Then and Now,” Quality Progress,
they could name an award after him since he was so instrumen-
March and May 1975.
tal in instilling quality in the Japanese economy. The award
Quality 101: Foundations in Quality Self-Directed Learning
would be for companies that practiced and achieved total quali-
Series, ASQ, 1999.
ty control results. He declined, as he felt that it was
Quality Progress, January 1968. (continued on p. 34)
I MAY 2004 I 31
100 Years of Juran
Addressed summit of quality Published memoirs,
Transferred the Juran Presented first ASQ Joseph M.
Architect of Quality.
leaders at the Juran Center
Foundation to the Carlson Juran Medal to Robert W.
for Leadership in Quality, call-
School of Management at the Galvin, chair of Motorola Inc.’s
ing for a research initiative to
University of Minnesota in executive committee.
break what he described as
Minneapolis, which renamed
an impasse for quality in the
its Quality Leadership Center Celebrated his 75th wedding
the Juran Center for Leadership anniversary, just after he and his
in Quality. wife had both turned 96.
Asked what he considers his greatest
“I contributed to a new science:
In Demand: Juran often
inspired quality professionals
(at an ASQ Annual Quality
Congress, above) and men-
tored several, including
Lennart Sandholm of
Sweden (above right, during a 1966
Stockholm visit). Juran’s prolific writing
includes many articles and columns for QP.
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org
Giving Back: During a career
spanning more than 70 years
and including hundreds of
books, articles, courses and
lectures, Juran has always
taken time to serve in organiza-
tions such as ASQ (he is a
founding member) and to
speak to nonprofit groups, such
as local sections. The photos
here include ASQ events going
back to 1968.
contribution, Juran said,
managing for quality.”
I MAY 2004 I 33
GURUS OF QUALITY
(continued from p. 31)
inappropriate to put his name on an award many had went to the Juran Institute in 1991 to start up a health-
contributed to. Today we know that award as the care practice.
Deming Prize. Dr. Juran inspired me in so many ways. I’d often ask
CHUCK AUBREY him a question at the office, where my days were like so
VP, PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE many of ours these days—whirlwinds of phone calls,
STAT-A-MATRIX/ORIEL trips and generally fast paced interactions. I remember
ASQ PAST PRESIDENT he often took a while, a long while, to answer. When he
did, every single answer was profound and pushed me
to a new plateau in thinking. I learned pace and
On a personal level, there’s no question meeting Dr. thoughtfulness often help so much more than cycle
Juran and studying his work were turning points in my times. He changed me by adding new dimensions to
quest to understand continous improvement. I also my thinking and a new skill to my helping behaviors.
have to comment on his generosity: He spoke at the I traveled with him a bit during his “Last Word” tour.
first meeting I ever held on the topic, when he really Although he had a few decades on me, his energy level
didn’t have to. And when I served on the board of the was amazing. I watched him closely and learned his sta-
Juran Institute, his mentoring and generosity were con- mina is due to discipline and routine (in addition to
stant. I owe no greater debt to anyone than to him. great genes, I’m sure). He has a routine for all things that
Within the quality field, Dr. Juran’s depth of work is don’t require his creativity and thereby saves his atten-
remarkable. He didn’t just combine the science of qual- tion and creative energy for the intellectual efforts aimed
ity with its practical aspects; he welded them together. at changing the world. He is up at the crack of dawn
His work is deeply scientific and deeply pragmatic, and never turns down a request for a chat in the hall-
which is unique. way, an autograph of a book or a question from a partici-
DONALD M. BERWICK, M.D. pant. He is respectful of all, a wonderful and active
PRESIDENT AND CEO listener and a true coach. Every question is worthy, and
INSTITUTE FOR HEALTHCARE IMPROVEMENT each encounter I have witnessed has led to learning.
I am now working with Don Berwick to change
quality in healthcare. Dr. Juran is still in our thoughts
almost daily. He is “with” us here in Boston and wher-
ever on the globe we may be traveling to make health-
care safer and more patient centered.
INSTITUTE FOR HEALTHCARE IMPROVEMENT
FORMER ASQ TREASURER
My fondest interaction with Dr. Juran was in 1972,
when he called to congratulate me on accepting the
position of corporate vice president, quality assurance,
with Abbott Laboratories. He was very pleased I was
Frequent Flier: Over 40 plus years Juran lectured and taught
willing to make a major career change from aerospace
courses in 34 countries to more than 20,000 people.
(NASA) to the healthcare industry and wished me every
success. Subsequently, when we would cross paths at an
Iwas a new hospital CEO in Massachusetts back in ASQ Annual Quality Congress or other events, he
1987 when quality began to take hold in healthcare. I would inquire regarding my progress in the position.
met Dr. Juran, and he was the inspiration for my work JOHN CONDON
in transforming quality at my own hospital. Then I ASQ PAST PRESIDENT
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org
links between Europe and Dr. Juran are deeply is such an important part of my life and has
rooted. He was a fundamental reference for the devel- been for nearly 20 years. I work, network, write and
opment of the quality culture in Europe. Many teach in quality. It started with Philip Crosby, but I
Europeans felt a deep cultural affinity with Dr. Juran soon discovered and appreciated Joseph M. Juran. He
because of his rational, rigorous way of thinking. He influenced so many individuals, organizations, coun-
was a symbol for those who did not appreciate over- tries and economies. His work is so overwhelming that
statements, fads, distortions or oversimplifications in one wonders if even he could find the strength to do it
quality thinking. all over again. Given his passion and commitment, I
In 1993, as president of the European Organization firmly believe he could and would. I, like many quality
for Quality (EOQ), I had the honor of expressing the professionals, owe a great deal to Juran’s vision and
gratitude of the European quality community to Dr. insight into quality.
Juran by granting him the EOQ Gold Honorary Medal. RAYMOND E. DYER
Now I wish to join the multitude of people around the QUALITY SYSTEMS SPECIALIST, NORTEL NETWORKS
world who greet Dr. Juran as both a great “architect of ASQ SENIOR MEMBER AND NEWSLETTER EDITOR
quality” and an admirable man. OF MONTREAL SECTION 401
AUTHOR, CONSULTANT AND ASSISTANT EDITOR
OF A HISTORY OF MANAGING FOR QUALITY Juran is and will continue to be a fundamental
PAST PRESIDENT leadership force in the constantly growing economic,
EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION FOR QUALITY social and educational service of quality to America as
well as to the world community. His combination of
consistently innovative and intensely practical contri-
On one hand, it is difficult to describe Dr. Juran in a butions has created much of what the quality field is
few words. On the other hand, it is easy. I’ll take the today and is one of the foundations for its continued
easy approach and give you the 20% that has great development.
meaning and leave the 80% for later. This very con- The breadth of his abilities—from highly sought-
cept—the Pareto principle—says it all. Dr. Juran stud- after guidance to leaders of business and government
ied the work of Vilfredo Pareto to come up with a to hands-on help for individual quality practitioners—
similar concept for quality and management. Instead of has provided a unique legacy spanning a remarkably
calling it the “Juran principle,” he named it after Pare- large number of generations. And, throughout it all, he
to. Dr. Juran is always giving away the credit. He is has always marched to the drumbeat of his own con-
always concerned about doing the right things rather victions and provided a model of what a quality leader
than taking credit for doing them. He is one of the vital and engineer should be.
few. Happy Birthday, Boss! ARMAND V. FEIGENBAUM
JOE DEFEO PRESIDENT AND CEO, GENERAL SYSTEMS CO. INC.
PRESIDENT/CEO, JURAN INSTITUTE ASQ PAST PRESIDENT AND HONORARY MEMBER
Juran is one of those rare individuals whose col- Juran’s contribution to society equals the most
lective work spans generations to make a sustained valuable contribution by anyone in the recent century.
impact on society. His groundbreaking work in quality His inspiration and instruction, which in a practical
management and leadership was the catalyst that way have been applied by countless institutions,
transformed industries. improved the quality and efficiency of all institutions
DANIEL DUHAN that serve others, be they commercial or even in the
VP, NORTHROP GRUMMAN public sector. He did this in a most appealing personal
ASQ PRESIDENT-ELECT way. My guess is many who took their lead from Joe
did so as admiring friends. I consider myself one of
I MAY 2004 I 35
GURUS OF QUALITY
those, and then all of us translated what he taught us Juran’s creation of the universal sequence of
into employable means for the betterment of those we events—planning, breakthrough (improvement) and
served. Joe has ably served more people in our society control—as originally written in his book Managerial
than any other man I have known. Breakthrough, became the basis for the quality move-
BOB GALVIN ment in the United States and helped make the coun-
CHAIR, MOTOROLA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE try competitive in quality in world markets. His work
provided U.S. companies with the understanding of
how these sequences are achieved in an organization
Joe Juran’s stellar contribution: the Juran trilogy of the and how the processes must be managed and under-
three quality processes. The processes show us how to stood at the top of the organization. With the addition
manage quality during operations. The six steps of of the three quality processes of planning, control and
quality planning help us develop new products or improvement (the trilogy), he offered the key to un-
processes; the six steps of quality control explain how derstanding how to manage for quality in today’s
to track performance; the nine steps of quality im- world and the world of the future.
provement guide us to make breakthroughs to superior TOM HUIZENGA
levels of performance. This framework integrates the VP, QUALITY, KELLY SERVICES INC.
managerial, technological and statistical concepts of
quality. As new concepts evolve, they will easily splice
into the trilogy. A structured approach always wins the is quality’s historian; read his book A History of
day over trial and error. Managing for Quality or his autobiography, Architect of
FRANK GRYNA Quality. He may not have invented all the tools of
PROFESSOR EMERITUS quality, but he gave them form and structure; see
ASQ HONORARY MEMBER Juran’s Quality Handbook. As an expositor of quality he
has few peers; recall his videocassettes, myriad papers
and many short courses. All of us who have met him
Dr. Juran’s ideas broke new ground, and he has have come away touched by his graciousness and
worked tirelessly throughout his life to change the impressed by his wisdom. The gentleman richly
way people think about and attain quality. I could deserves the accolades of the quality fraternity.
list numerous concepts and methods I learned from STU HUNTER
reading Dr. Juran’s books and attending his presenta- PROFESSOR EMERITUS
tions, then later applied. One, however, fundamental- ASQ HONORARY MEMBER
ly changed my entire philosophy about quality
As a young quality engineer working on my MBA always been a fan of Dr. Juran. I have used his
and studying for my certified quality engineer exam, books for 25 years. If I must select the one thing that
I read Dr. Juran’s comments about approaching the has been most valuable to me and has most directly
quality field in business terms, not quality jargon. On affected me personally and many hundreds of people
that day, I realized statistics and problem solving I have known, it is his Quality Control Handbook. I have
skills were wonderful tools, but the ability to com- used the handbook to train quality engineers, techni-
municate was a necessity. I still believe the most suc- cians and auditors and, more recently, as a reference
cessful quality practitioners have adopted Dr. Juran’s for implementation of quality management systems
sage advice and are able to describe quality issues and Six Sigma improvement. To me, it is the “bible” of
and solutions in terms that are understood by senior quality that has remained relevant with the various
managers, accountants, marketing professionals and editions and diverse contributions and continues to
manufacturing personnel. serve so many of us as a primary reference and stan-
DEBBIE HOPEN dard that clearly addresses the subjects of quality. By
EDITOR, JOURNAL OF QUALITY AND PARTICIPATION propagating knowledge and improvement processes,
ASQ PAST PRESIDENT this book has immeasurably improved the world’s
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org
societies and economies and will continue to yield
In 1992 Juran received
dividends for generations to come.
the National Medal
of Technology from
SIX SIGMA MASTER BLACK BELT/INSTRUCTOR,
QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY, BANK OF AMERICA
ASQ PAST PRESIDENT
Dr. Juran has influenced me in three ways. The first
was through his article published in the August 1994
issue of Quality Progress, “The Upcoming Century of
Quality,” which gave two specific lessons that have
always inspired me:
1. The quality profession is a hard job because it deals
with change. It requires challengers.
2. Quality aims at the common good, which satisfies
those who live for more than their own benefits.
The second outstanding influence Dr. Juran has had
on me is via his famous recommendation: “There’s
always a better way; it should be found.”
Finally, in the total quality management (TQM) evolu- Juran’s Quality Handbook and first looked into his tech-
tion, I believe the “T” belongs to A. V. Feigenbaum, the nical work. Additional work followed.
“Q” to W. Edwards Deming and the “M” to Dr. Juran. The second level is the man as a philosophical and
I feel myself always indebted to Dr. Juran. I would visionary leader of quality. Juran invested in the quali-
like to say from my heart: Long live Juran. ty profession through his visionary leadership in writ-
HESAM AREF KASHFI ings, lectures and consultations with leaders from all
CHAIRMAN, CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT parts of the global economy.
ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, IRAN At a third level is the man as a role model. Most who
ASQ COUNTRY COUNCILOR FOR IRAN know Juran have heard the pride in his voice when he
talks of his humble roots, hard work, determination to
One succeed, inquisitive mind and a focus on continual self-
of Juran’s greatest contributions from my per- improvement that has been a driving influence in his
spective is focus. With the Pareto principle, he remind- personal life. What better way to demonstrate he has
ed us of focusing on the vital few vs. the trivial many. practiced what he has been preaching! The bottom line
For many of us, this has allowed us to focus on a few is a life lived in and for quality.
important projects and make progress, rather than JOHN KNAPPENBERGER
make little to no progress on many projects. VP, QUALITY MATERIALS, SALES AND MARKETING
ELIZABETH M. KEIM DURA AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS INC.
MANAGING PARTNER, INTEGRATED ASQ PAST PRESIDENT
QUALITY RESOURCES LLC
CHAIR, ASQ BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Since his first visit in 1954, Dr. Juran has come to
Japan many times during the last half-century. We
As I reflect on Dr. Juran’s first 100 years, I am struck learned a lot from him. Dr. Juran summarized the fol-
by the fact he has immersed himself in quality at three lowing three features of quality control (QC) activities
levels. The first is the man as a technical quality leader. in Japan that created the revolution in quality:
It was at this level many people seeking to understand 1. A massive quality related education and training
more about the technical subject of quality found program.
I MAY 2004 I 37
GURUS OF QUALITY
2. An annual program of quality improvement. first exposure to the teachings of Dr. Juran was
3. Upper management leadership of the quality func- his five-day course in October 1969 on quality control
tion. management. The course was co-taught by Leonard
In 1954, he was invited by the Japanese Union of Seder and ably assisted by Mrs. Juran. That was the
Scientists and Engineers and started the QC courses for week I learned 94% of processing problems were man-
top and middle managers. These courses had an immea- agement controllable. Despite some differences of opin-
surably large impact on Japanese QC and positioned ion—I remember a somewhat heated debate about the
quality as the important management tool. Hoshin kanri ethics of testing defective cutlery on an unsuspecting
(policy management) is the companywide activity to public—I came away from this training with a toolbox
rotate the plan-do-check-act cycle every year. An inter- (mental and physical) that I have used to this day.
nal QC audit by top managers is included. Without the I treasure the memorabilia from the course, which
leadership of top managers of this kind, it is impossible ranges from the 3-inch bronze medallion and hand
to continue to promote total quality management of the produced certificate that verify my participation to a
company. copy of the second edition of the famous handbook
YOSHIO KONDO signed by the author. I also have all the original hand-
PROFESSOR EMERITUS, KYOTO UNIVERSITY, JAPAN crafted course material, including an original quality
circle report from Matsushita Electric that contains the
first Ishikawa diagram I ever saw.
I will always be grateful for the positive impact this
Selecting Dr. Juran’s greatest course had on my career; I hope I have managed to
pass on some of the wisdom over the years.
contribution is analogous HENRY READER
to selecting the best movie ASQ MEMBER
ever made; there are so The world owes Dr. Juran much for his unique con-
many to choose from. tributions as a premier scholar and historian in the
quality sciences. He has worked tirelessly and effec-
tively to elevate quality’s technical foundations and
enable its beneficial applications in all sectors—in the
Many times I have observed Dr. Juran discussing United States and abroad. In his 100th year, he contin-
quality questions with young newcomers to the field. ues to lead, inspire and build, with the conviction the
His patience and practice of inspiring them were won- best days for quality lie ahead.
derful to behold. Those of us in the Baldrige National Quality Pro-
It has been stated his earliest professional goal was gram will always treasure Dr. Juran. His support, guid-
to become the world’s greatest quality consultant. ance and friendship convinced us it was possible to
Anyone who doubts his success in this simply has not create an award and continuously improve the result-
been paying attention. All of us in the field of quality ing framework for cooperation and sharing to strength-
have, in one way or another, benefited from Dr. Juran’s en performance in businesses, healthcare, schools and
contributions. nonprofit organizations.
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to do CURT REIMANN, PAST DIRECTOR
volunteer work with Dr. Juran can attest to how gener- HARRY HERTZ, DIRECTOR
ously he has given of his time and expertise in further- BALDRIGE NATIONAL QUALITY PROGRAM
ing the field of quality.
LLOYD S. NELSON
FORMER EDITOR, JOURNAL OF QUALITY CONTROL his long life devoted to quality, Dr. Juran’s influence
AND INDUSTRIAL QUALITY CONTROL has become immense. His clear thinking, analytical tal-
ASQ HONORARY MEMBER ent and eminent way of communicating (orally, as well
I MAY 2004 I www.asq.org