Saturday, February 7, 2015

Philip Bayard Crosby - Quality Guru - Biography

Philip Bayard Crosby, (June 18, 1926 – August 18, 2001) was an accomplished quality manager and a quality management guru who contributed to management theory and quality management practices.

Crosby was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1926. He served in the Navy during World War II He earned a degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. His first job was in the field of quality was that of test technician in the quality department at Crosley Corporation in Richmond, Indiana beginning in 1952. He joined  as reliability engineer at Bendix Corporation in Mishawaka, Indiana in 1955 and worked on the RIM-8 Talos missile. He became senior quality engineer at The Martin Company's new Orlando, Florida organization to develop the Pershing missile. There he implemented quality management practices that later developed into the Zero Defects Program concept. He eventually rose to become department head. He subsequently joined ITT Corporation in 1965 to become director of quality. In 1979, Crosby started the management consulting company Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. This consulting group provided educational courses in quality management. In 1979, Crosby published his book, Quality Is Free. This book would become popular at the time because of the crisis in North American quality.

Crosby's quality message is the principle of "doing it right the first time" (DIRFT). It implies that each time a part is produced, it has to be produced for the specification. There should not be rework and scrappage. The operator must be provided with testing or inspection equipment and production equipment and method that enables him to produce to specification every unit made by him.

 He also advocated four major principles:

The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both the product and the customer's requirements).
The system of quality is prevention.
The performance standard is zero defects (each unit to specification)
The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance

His belief was that an organization that establishes good quality management principles and practices will see savings that more than pay for the cost of the quality system put in place. So the statement,  "quality is free". It is less expensive to establish a system and produce to specification every time a unit is produced rather than produce, inspect and then do rework and repairs or scrap the defective part.

Important Books

(1967). Cutting the cost of quality. Boston, Industrial Education Institute.
(1979). Quality is Free. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014512-1.
(1984). Quality Without Tears. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014511-3.
(1994). Completeness: Quality for the 21st Century. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27024-3.
(1995). Philip Crosby's Reflections on Quality. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014525-3.
(1996). Quality is still free: Making Quality Certain in Uncertain Times. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014532-6.
(1999). Quality and Me: Lessons from an Evolving Life. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-4702-4.

About Serving Philip Crosby


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