Managers involved in helping their organizations improve quality are frequently puzzled over which approach to use. Some organizations adopt an eclectic approach using components of the three philosophies and combining what they consider to be the best from the best. Other organizations select the Crosby, Deming, or Juran approach and remain loyal to it; all their education, training, and implementation efforts reflect support for that one approach. There are organizations that switch in midstream (e.g., begin with Crosby, move to Juran, and then move to Deming). These organizations expect dramatic improvements in a short period of time and their obsession with immediate results forces them to try different approaches on a trial-and-error basis, without thought to a long-term strategy.
The key to successful implementation of quality principles and methods is tied to leadership. In fact, lack of management and leadership commitment is considered by Crosby to be the number one cause of quality improvement failure. According to Juran, every successful quality revolution has included the active participation of upper management. There are no exceptions. Deming agrees. He says the transformation is top management’s job and it cannot be delegated. Quality is not a quick fix to address management problems. It is not a program, but a transformation. As part of this effort, top managers must recognize the need for assessment, strategic planning, and the development of a long-term, integrated organization-wide approach.
Leadership is needed to establish policies defining the positions the organization will take in regard to quality Leadership is also needed to cultivate a customer orientation and provide all employees with ongoing education and training. These arguments notwithstanding, success or failure will rest upon the correct assessment of how to achieve customer-defined quality criteria and the kind of leadership required to get the organization mobilized in the most cost-acceptable way.
“The approaches of Crosby, Deming, and Juran do not represent “programs” in the usual sense of the word, but they do not have starting and ending dates.”
“The key successful implementation of quality principles and methods is tied to leadership. “