Section 4.2 of the Baldrige criteria ask applicants how their organization manages and grows its knowledge assets and learns. The processes behind the assurance of quality and availability of data, information, software, and hardware needed by the workforce, suppliers, partners, collaborators, and, of course, customers, are outlined. Applicants are expected to describe how they acquire their data, how they know it’s good data, and how they use it. In Dr. Joseph M. Juran’s 2004 book, Architect of Quality, he describes the birth of Statistical Quality Control at AT&T’s Hawthorne plant and puts a new perspective on the ripple effect that innovative thinking can have.
In late 1925, AT&T’s Bell Telephone Laboratories (Bell Labs) set in motion an initiative that would change inspection practices profoundly, first in Hawthorne and later in industry generally. The end result came to be known as Statistical Quality Control (SQC).
AT&T and Use of Probability Theory
The roots of Bell Labs’ initiative go back to AT&T’s use of probability theory, starting early in the twentieth century. A seminal event was M. C. Rorty’s memorandum, “Application of the Theory of Probability to Traffic Problems,” dated October 22, 1903.
When any subscriber took the telephone receiver off its hook, he or she needed to be …
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The following post is being featured once again, in light of the 25th anniversary of the Baldrige Award. Please enjoy!
(The following excerpt describing how the Baldrige Award came about is taken from Steve George’s first Baldrige book,The Baldrige Quality System, published by Wiley & Sons in 1992)
In the early 1980s, U.S. business and government leaders worried about the nation’s ability to compete. They formed councils to study the problem. They participated in conferences and sat on committees whose sole aim was to figure out how to improve the quality of U.S. products and services on a national level.
In 1983, the final report on seven computer networking conferences sponsored by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), in which about 175 corporate executives, business leaders, and academicians participated, recommended the creation of a National Quality Award.
Later that same year, the National Productivity Advisory Committee, a group of corporate executives, academicians, labor leaders, and government officials, recommended creating a national medal for productivity achievement.
In April 1984, a report by the White House Conference on Productivity called for a national medal for productivity. Other groups, both public and private, debated solutions to American competitiveness. Many called for a national award.
In September 1985, corporate …
About this Site
Joseph A. De Feo
Joseph A. De Feo, MBA, President and CEO of Juran Institute, Inc., is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on transformational change systems and breakthrough management principles. For nearly 25 years, De Feo has worked as a Juran Executive Coach helping business leaders increase sales, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction through the deployment of process improvement programs, including Lean and Six Sigma, strategic planning, and cultural transformation.
His ability to cut through complex issues and apply proven methodologies and solutions has made hima sough-after business partner for industry leaders around the globe such as Anthem, Duracell, Emhart Glass, Lance Foods, Raytheon, Samsung, and Unilever.
Mr. De Feo is co-author of Juran’s Quality Handbook 6th Edition, The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence; the “go to” resource for deployment leaders. De Feo’s belief that a relentless customer focus and integrity drives business results was recently noted by Steve Denning of Forbes.com.
“By re-focusing primary attention on the customer and on exceeding the customer’s expectations, the Juran Quality Handbook has done quality management a great service.”
Michelle Matschke is the Editor at Baldrige.com, in addition to being the Sr. Business Development Associate at Juran Institute. Michelle has worked for Juran in a few …