The Crosby Philosophy

8. Train supervisors in quality improvement

Define the type of training supervisors need in order to actively carry out their part of the quality improvement program. The supervisor, from the board chairman down, is the key to achieving improvement goals. The supervisor gives the individual employees their attitudes and work standards, whether in engineering, sales, computer programming, or wherever.Therefore, the supervisor must be given primary consideration when laying out the program. The departmental representatives on the task team will be able to communicate much of the planning and concepts to the supervisors, but individual classes are essential to make sure that they properly understand and can implement the program.

9. Hold zero defects days

Create an event that will let all employees realize through personal experience, that there has been a change. Zero Defects is a revelation to all involved that they are embarking on a new way of corporate life. Working under this discipline requires personal commitments and understanding. Therefore, it is necessary that all members of the company participate in an experience that will make them aware of this change.

10. Encourage employees to create their own quality improvement goals

Turn pledges and commitments into action by encouraging individuals to establish improvement goals for themselves and their groups. About a week after Zero Defects day, individual supervisors should ask their people what kind of goals they should set for themselves. Try to get two goals from each area. These goals should be specific and measurable.

11. Encourage employee communication with management about obstacles to quality (Error-Cause Removal)

Give the individual employee a method of communicating to management the situations that make it difficult for the employee to fulfill the pledge to improve. One of the most difficult problems employees face is their inability to communicate problems to management. Sometimes they just put up with problems because they do not consider them important enough to bother the supervisor. Sometimes supervisors don’t listen anyway. Suggestion programs are some help, but in a suggestion program the worker is required to know the problem and also propose a solution. Error-cause removal (ECR) is set up on the basis that the worker need only recognize the problem. When the worker has stated the problem, the proper department in the plant can look into it. Studies of ECR programs show that over 90% of the items submitted are acted upon, and fully 75% can be handled at the first level of supervision. The number of ECRs that save money is extremely high, since the worker generates savings every time the job is done better or quicker.

12. Recognise participants’ effort

Appreciate those who participate. People really don’t work for money. They go to work for it, but once the salary has been established, their concern is appreciation. Recognize their contribution publicly and noisily, but don’t demean them by applying a price tag to everything.

13. Create quality councils

Bring together the professional quality people for planned communication on a regular basis. It is vital for the professional quality people of an organization to meet regularly just to share their problems, feelings, and experiences, with each other. Primarily concerned with measurement and reporting, isolated even in the midst of many fellow workers, it is easy for them to become influenced by the urgency of activity in their work areas. Consistency of attitude and purpose is the essential personal characteristic of one who evaluates another’s work. This is not only because of the importance of the work itself but because those who submit work unconsciously draw a great deal of their performance standard from the professional evaluator.

14. Do it all over again  quality improvement does not end

Emphasize that the quality improvement program never ends. There is always a great sign of relief when goals are reached. If care is not taken, the entire program will end at that moment. It is necessary to construct a new quality improvement team, and to let them begin again and create their own communications.

From the above 14 points Philip Crosby communicated that management should take prime responsibility for quality, and workers only follow their managers’ example. Crosby defined the Four Absolutes of Quality Management:

  • Quality is conformance to requirements.
  • Quality prevention is preferable to quality inspection.
  •  Zero defects is the quality performance standard.
  •  Quality is measured in monetary terms – the price of non-conformance.

According to Crosby, five characteristics of an highly successful organisations are:

  •  People routinely do things right first time.
  •  Change is anticipated and used to advantage.
  •  Growth is consistent and profitable.
  • New products and services appear when needed.


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