Four insights from “a reference book for all who all who are involved with quality”

Joseph Juran wrote in the 5th Edition that Juran’s Quality Handbook ”is a reference book for all who are involved with quality of products, services, and processes”. I find it a useful book to refer to if I am thinking about a problem.

There are eight editions of the Juran’s Quality Control Handbook. They are large books and so are best viewed as reference books. The Handbooks have very useful subject indexes.

Dr. Joseph Juran, like W. Edwards Deming, worked for Walter Shewhart at Bell Telephone Labs. Later Juran taught quality control at New York University and he also helped to revive the Japanese economy after World War Two. Juran went on to work with a number of companies and also worked with Steve Jobs.

I have found many useful insights in the handbooks, for example: 

  1. The article by Frank Gryna in the 4th Edition on Quality Costs gives a background to the concept of quality costs that is missing in Crosby’s writing on quality costs. The article also groups costs in categories, which is helpful when creating a model of costs that can be shared in your company.
  1. The Juran Trilogy of Quality Planning, Quality Control and Quality Improvement can be used to create a useful way of discussing quality with your team and of designing quality in.
  1. Juran’s definition of quality also gives an insight into different perspectives of quality. He says that two of the meanings of quality are:

“1. Quality consists of those product features which meet the needs of customers and thereby provide product satisfaction.
2. Quality consist of freedom from deficiencies”

In the 5th Edition of the Handbook Juran writes how managers can disagree on whether improved quality costs more or less. This confusion is resolved by this definition of quality as items that improve quality in point 1 tend to increase costs, and items that improve quality in point 2 tend to decrease costs.

  1. Use of the Pareto Principle to identify the “vital few” to assure that resources are used where they do most good.

I have copies of the 4th, 5th  and 6th Editions and use them as a reference. I think that there are many more insights to be found while exploring the Handbooks and I look forward to discovering them.

Further reading:

Juran’s Quality Control Handbook 4th Edition
Juran’s Quality Handbook 5th Edition
Juran’s Quality Handbook, 6th Edition

Published by Mike Harris

Mike has been working in testing for 20 years and is currently the lone tester for Geckoboard. He has been a Test Lead and has also worked as a part of waterfall, lean and agile teams. He is also Programme Secretary of BCS SIGiST. Mike has a B.Sc.(HONS) from Middlesex University and is an Associate of the University of Hertfordshire. He has set up and led a Testing Community of Practice and been part of a successful agile transition. He is Co-Programme Chair of the British Computer Society’s Specialist Interest Group in Software Testing. He also contributed to the e-book Testing Stories and has had articles published by the Ministry of Testing. Follow Mike on Twitter: @TestAndAnalysis

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