Joseph Juran (1904-2008) and W. Edwards Deming (1900-93), the two most influential thinkers behind the totalquality movement, both launched their careers a few years apart at Western Electric, which used Statistical qualitycontrol techniques pioneered at Bell Labs to build reliable telephones.
And both gained acclaim while on loan to the government during World War II.
The irony is, Japanese execs heeded the lessons of total quality ahead of American managers.
In 1969, JUSE asked Juran to lend his name to Japan’s top quality award, a sort of super-Deming Prize for companies that maintain the highest quality for five years running.
JUSE deemed Juran’s vision of top-to-bottom quality management even more important than Deming’s manufacturing insights.
Juran demurred-a decision he later regretted.
So what could have been the Juran Medal is instead called the Japan Quality Control Medal.
There is a Joseph Juran Medal, though. It’s awarded by the American Society for Quality.
Juran personally presented the first one in 2001 to Robert W. Galvin, then head of Motorola Inc.’s executive committee.
Previously published in the June 2016 Volume 7, Issue 2 ASQ Reliability Division Newsletter
Picture © B. Poncelet https://bennyponcelet.wordpress.com