Kaoru Ishikawa’s Views On TQM

Kaoru Ishikawa's Views On TQM

Kaoru Ishikawa’s contributions were officially recognized several times both in Japan and the USA. His writings and concepts won first recognition when his brainchild quality circles were first piloted at the Nippon Telegraph and Cable Company in 1962. Their success in NTCC led to the breeding of thousands and millions of quality circles in other Japanese companies.

Ishikawa: The Father of Quality Circles

Ishikawa came to be known as the “Father of Quality Circles” in Japan. He wanted to change the way people think about work. He urged managers to resist becoming content with merely improving a product’s quality, insisting that quality improvement can always go one step further.

Advancements in Quality Improvement

With his cause and effect diagram (“fishbone” diagram), his management leadership made significant and specific advancements in quality improvement. He extensively wrote on quality circles and quality management during the 1960s in the form of journal articles.

The Concept of Quality Circles

Ishikawa has blended almost everything we know about work and the human dimensions of behavioral science to form the concept of Quality Circles.

Ishikawa’s Seven Quality Tools

Ishikawa also showed the importance of the seven quality tools: Ishikawa diagram (fishbone diagram), Pareto analysis, histograms, stratification, tally charts, control charts, and scatter diagrams.

Ishikawa’s Influence in the West

When his book entitled “Guide to Quality Control” was published in 1974 followed by another book – “What is Total Quality Control: The Japanese Way” in 1985, his philosophy and concepts related to TQM caught the attention of the quality professionals in the West.

The Implementation of Quality Control

In his second book, he emphasized that the implementation of quality control is impossible if seven basic tools are not used. He is of the view that management/employees could effectively solve quality problems by using seven tools such as Pareto analysis, fishbone diagrams, control charts, tally charts, scatter diagrams, stratification, and histograms.

Blending Management Practices

Ishikawa was also one of the quality experts who suggested that the best management practices of America may be blended with the Japanese practices, and this blend be fused with traditional European craftsmanship.

Ishikawa’s Philosophy on Work Practices

He argued that the American management style whereby “management manage and people do” could not be grafted onto Japanese work practices. He articulated the idea of bringing craftsmanship back to groups rather than to individuals.

Drawing on Principles from Other Quality Gurus

Besides his own developments, Ishikawa drew and expounded on principles from other quality gurus. He expanded Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act Model into the following six incubators:

  1. Determine goals and targets
  2. Determine methods of reaching goals
  3. Engage in education and training
  4. Implement work
  5. Check the effects of implementation
  6. Take appropriate action