Quality Is Still Free


Quality Is Still Free: Making Quality Certain in Uncertain Times

by Philip B. Crosby

Philip B. Crosby (1926-2001) created the Zero Defects performance standard. I only recently became aware of him through a reader comment on a Wall Street Journal article. Crosby joined ITT in 1965 as the conglomerate’s first director of quality. In 1979 he founded Philip Crosby Associates, a firm which trained 12,000 executives and managers through its Quality College.

“I built the Quality College around the Four Absolutes of Quality Management as they had evolved for me over the years:

  1. Quality means conformance to requirements, not goodness.
  2. Quality comes from prevention, not detection.
  3. Quality performance standard is Zero Defects, not Acceptable Quality Levels.
  4. Quality is measured by the Price of Nonconformance, not by indexes.”

“Quality is free” means it is cheaper to do things right the first time. Continue reading “Quality Is Still Free”

The Toyota Way


The Toyota Way

by Jeffrey Liker

The Toyota Way provides an excellent introduction of the Toyota Production System and insights into the company culture.

Toyota is the leader of lean production. In contrast to batch and queue systems, lean focuses on one-piece flow. The customer is the next process and the ideal batch size is one, so the source of defects can be discovered before thousands of defective parts are made. Continue reading “The Toyota Way”

The Checklist Manifesto


The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right 

by Atul Gawande

Routine errors are frequently caused by little things that slip through the cracks due to poor communication and distractions.  A simple checklist can eliminate these oversights.  This book explores how checklists can improve quality and efficiency—and even save lives—in a wide range of industries. Given the crisis with health care affordability in the United States, I am impressed with the dramatic cost savings in the medical examples. Continue reading “The Checklist Manifesto”

The New Economics


The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education

by W. Edwards Deming

Deming is a legendary name in quality management, especially in Japan through his consulting work with Japanese industry from 1950 onward. He died in 1993 at age 93 before the second edition of this book went to press.

“This book is for people who are living under the tyranny of the prevailing style of management,” writes Deming in the preface. He has strong convictions, many of which are counter to conventional management thinking. Continue reading “The New Economics”

The Innovator’s Prescription

The Innovator’s Prescription

By Clayton Christensen, Jerome H Grossman M.D., and Jason Hwang M.D

Building on the framework of disruptive innovation presented in his prior book The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen and two medical doctors present a vision for how to make the American health care system “higher in quality, lower in cost, and more conveniently accessible to all.” Continue reading “The Innovator’s Prescription”