- Edward Deming – 1900 to 1993
Known for the P-D-C-A system (Plan-Do-Check-Act), as well as major improvement for Japanese manufacturing. Deming also schooled many quality philosophies, including The Deming System of Profound Knowledge, The 14 points for Transformation of Management, Seven Deadly Diseases, The PDSA cycle, The Red Bead Experiment and The Funnel Experiment.
- Joseph Moses Juran – 1904 to 2008
Juran’s firsts include adding Human Dimension to quality systems and writing about the cost of poor quality (a theory that was later made popular by IBM’s James Harrington). He also developed The Juran Trilogy – a cross-functional management approach that included quality planning, quality control and quality improvement.
- Frederick Winslow Taylor – 1856 to 1915
The originator of Scientific Management and Efficiency Movement also developed an early proponent of benchmarking and business process redesign. His scientific management theory formed the early origins of Total Quality Control as well as re-engineering.
- Shigeo Shingo – 1909 to 1990
The creator of such concepts as Zero Quality Control and mistake proofing was also a major contributor to the now-famous TPS (Toyota Production System), which aimed to cut down on inconsistency, over-burden and waste.
- Taiichi Ohno – 1912 to 1990
The creator of the TPS system that Shingo contributed towards, Ohno’s system went on to become Lean Manufacturing. He also created the seven wastes in Lean, and helped bring about the JIT (Just In Time) system.
- Sakichi Toyoda – 1867 to 1930
Toyoda implemented automation (Jidoka in Japanese) and also developed 5-Whys – the root cause analysis technique used by many quality practitioners today.
- Kaoru Ishikawa – 1915 to 1989
The introducer of the concept of Quality Circles also developed the Fishbone Cause and Effect Diagram – a handy statistical tool. He was also one of the first to focus on the importance of the internal customer.
- Armand V. Feigenbaum – 1920 – current
Working from previous theories done on the subject, Feigenbaum created the Total Quality Concept that is known today. He was also a major player in Quality Cost Management, which focuses on the cost of failures, prevention and appraisal.
- Genichi Taguchi – 1924 to 2012
Tahuchi applied statistics to improve the quality of manufactured products, using his now-famous Taguchi Methods. He also did research on the design of experiments, and helped fields such as product design, manufacturing, sales process engineering and many others.
- Philip B Crosby – 1926 to 2001
Crosby initiated the Zero Defects concept, and also helped bring about the conceptualisation of the Quality Management Maturity Grid. As we move forward into a future filled with even more innovation, it is good to take a look back in time to see just how these early fathers of quality management helped to forge the way for current and future growth of the industry.