Joseph M. Juran

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Mohammad Zaid

Joseph M. Juran

1904 - 2008


Joseph M. Juran has led a life of success and accomplishments. Using his intelligence and
dedication Juran changed himself from a poor Romanian immigrant into a world renowned
quality control expert. He has had a varied successful career as an engineer, as a writer, as
an educator and as a consultant. Juran has been called the "father" of quality, a quality
"guru" and the man who "taught quality to the Japanese." He revolutionized the Japanese
philosophy on quality management and in no small way worked to help shape their
economy into the industrial leader it is today. Dr. Juran was the first to incorporate the
human aspect of quality management which is referred to as Total Quality Management.


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Braila, Romania. December, 1904. The threadbare Jakob Juran family welcomes a
newborn son, Joseph Moses. Five years later Jakob leaves Romania for America. By 1912,
he has earned enough to bring the rest of the family to join him in Minnesota. Despite this
hopeful emigration and American opportunities, the family continues in poverty.

During his youth, Joseph excelled at learning. Joseph was so far ahead of the average
students that he eventually skipped the equivalent of four grade levels. Joseph's desire for
excel ence and education allowed him to become the first person from his family to pursue
a higher education. In 1920, Joseph enrolled at the University of Minnesota. In 1924,
Joseph graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
After he graduated from the University of Minnesota, Joseph put his education on hold and
went to work. In order to reduce costs, Joseph's work hours were reduced during the
depression. Joseph used these extra hours to attend classes at Loyola University. Juran
received a J.D. in Law at Loyola University in 1936.

Professional Career

Joseph started his professional career soon after he graduated from the University of
Minnesota. In 1924 he started working with Western Electric. At Western Electric Joseph
worked within the inspection department of the famous Hawthorne Works located in
Chicago. Hawthorne Works was a very large factory that employed 40,000 workers. The
complexity of this factory introduced Joseph to his first challenges in management.

In 1926, while working at Hawthorne Works, Juran received a rare and extraordinary
opportunity. At this time a team of Quality Control pioneers from Bell Laboratories designed
program to implement new tools and techniques at Hawthorn Works. In order to carry out
their program effectively the Quality Control pioneers needed to implement a training
program for the employees of Hawthorn Works. Juran was chosen as one of the two


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engineers who were to work for the promising inspection Statistical Department. This
quality control department was one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Juran kept working his way up within Western Electric. By 1937, Juran had become the
chief of Industrial Engineering at Western Electric's home office in New York. As chief of
Industrial Engineer, one of Juran's tasks was to discuss the dif erent methods of quality
management with other companies.

During WWI , Juran took a temporary leave of absence from Western Electric. During this
time Juran worked in Washington D.C. as an assistant administrator for the Lend- Lease
Administration. Juran and his team worked on improving the ef iciency and eliminating the
excessive paperwork of the Lend-Lease Administration's processes. By making these
processes more efficient, Juran and his team hastened the arrival of supplies to the United
States' overseas friends.

Juran finished his work with the Lend-Lease Administration in 1945. At this time, Juran's
temporary leave of absence from Western Electric had stretched to the span of four years.
Juran decided not to return to Western Electric. He decided that his true calling was to
devote the remainder of his life to the study of quality management.

In 1945, at the age of 40, Joseph took the position of Chairman of the Department of
Administrative Engineering at New York University. This position was not enough to keep
Juran busy, so he also started his own consulting practice. Juran worked as a consultant to
businesses and organizations in forty dif erent countries. On top of both of these jobs,
Joseph continued writing books and delivering lectures for the American Management

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) invited Juran to Japan in the early
1950's. In 1954, Juran arrived in Japan and conducted seminars for the top- and middle
level Japanese executives. Juran's Japanese lectures were taken so well that he was
asked to give more lectures to JUSE and to the Japanese Standards Association. After his
lectures, Juran's work spread throughout Japan. Large Japanese companies started their


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own internal training programs, the national radio offered courses for foremen, and booklets
were available at newspaper kiosks.

In 1979, Juran founded the Juran Institute. The original purpose of the Juran Institute was
to provide a continuity of Juran's ideas through video programs. The video series, Juran on
Quality improvement, was very successful. This led to the institute to take on many other
activities, and Juran worked as the institute's manager.

In 1986 Juran helped with the creation of the Malcolm Balbridge National Quality Award by
testifying before Congress and serving on the Board of Overseers.

Throughout his lifetime Juran had a varied successful career as an engineer, as a writer, as
an educator and as a consultant. But eventually Juran decided to end his career. In 1987,
Juran quit his job as the manager of the Juran institute. Throughout 1993 and 1994 Juran
gave a final series of lectures. After these lectures were finished Juran ceased giving any
public appearances. Juran decided to focus the remainder of his life on his family and
writing projects.


Juran has had many of his works published. He has made contributions to literature in
more than twenty books and hundreds of published papers. Certain selections of his
writings have been translated into seventeen dif erent languages.

Juran started professionally writing in 1928, when he wrote a pamphlet entitled
"Statistical Methods Applied to Manufacturing Problems." This pamphlet has since become
the basis for the well-known AT&T Statistical Quality Control Handbook, which is still
published today.

One of Juran's most influential books is the Quality Control Handbook. The original
edition was published in 1951; there are now four published editions. The Quality Control
Handbook became the standard reference work on quality control and established Juran as
an authority on quality.


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Awards and Honors

Nearly thirty years after Juran visited Japan, Emperor Hirohito recognized Juran's
contribution to the development of Japan's quality control and the facilitation of a U.S. and
Japanese friendship. Juran was awarded the highest award that can be given to a non-
Japanese person, the Order of the Sacred Treasure.

Juran's definitions of Quality

In Juran's Quality Control Handbook, he states that the word quality has two dif erent
meanings that are spelled the same way. These two dif erent meanings of quality have
caused confusion since some people assume you are using one definition of quality rather
than the other.
This is an example of the confusion of the word quality that was taken directly out of the
Quality Control Handbook.

"At one bank the upper managers would not support a proposal to reduce waste because it
had the name "quality improvement." In their view, higher quality also meant higher cost.
The subordinates were forced to revise the proposal "productivity improvement" in order to
secure approval."

Juran's two definitions of quality:

"1. "Quality" means those features of products which meet customer needs and thereby
provide customer satisfaction. In this sense, the meaning of quality is oriented to income.
The purpose of such higher quality is to provide greater customer satisfaction and, one
hopes, to increase income. However, providing more and/or better quality features usually
requires an investment and hence usually involves increases in costs. Higher quality in this
sense usually "costs more".


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2. "Quality" means freedom from deficiencies-freedom from errors that require doing work
over again (rework) or that results in field failures, customer dissatisfaction, customer
claims and so on. In this sense, the meaning of quality is oriented to costs, and higher
quality usual y "costs less"."

Making Quality Happen

Juran believed that turning company goals into results, or making results happen, is done
through managerial processes. When a company's goal is quality, they need managerial
processes that focus on quality. Juran defined three managerial processes that are
Necessary to manage for quality. The three processes combined are cal ed the Juran
Trilogy and include quality planning, quality control and quality improvement.


Mohammad Zaid


Throughout his career Joseph M. Juran has led a very successful life and has made many
contributions to the fields of quality control and quality management. During his career
Juran taught many of society's leaders and affected the entire world. There are many
people who haven given quotes of approval regarding Juran. Among these people are
Steve Jobs founder of Apple Computer and Next, Peter Drucker a writer and theorist and
Lawrence Appley chairman emeritus of the American Management Association. The quote
that says the most is given by Jungi Noguchi, Executive Director of the Japanese Union of
Scientists and Engineers, who stated, "Dr. Juran is the greatest authority on quality control
in the entire world." Juran never sought fame through his work; he only wanted to make
sure that his accomplishments were purposeful and genuine. Juran was once quoted
saying that " wouldn't bother me if I'm not remembered at all." As longas there is an
interest in quality, Juran wil not be forgotten.


Mohammad Zaid

For A rticle on Q uality visit my blog http:/ /
Link to Previous A rticles
1. PDCA Cycle
2. Top Quality Gurus
3. Quality management system - Summary of requirements
4. Difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control
5. What is ISO 9000?
6. Quality Glossary - A to Z
7. The Quality Control Audit - By Kaoru Ishikwa
8. The eight principles of quality management
9. Executive Summary of the 14 Toyota Way Principles
10. Toyota Production System

For suggestions & feedback contact me at [email protected]


Document Outline

  • 1TUPDCA CycleU1T
  • 1TUTop Quality GurusU1T
  • 1TUQuality management system - Summary of requirementsU1T
  • 1TUDifference between Quality Assurance and Quality ControlU1T
  • 1TUWhat is ISO 9000?U1T
  • 1TUQuality Glossary A to ZU1T
  • 1TUThe Quality Control Audit - By Kaoru IshikwaU1T
  • 1TUThe eight principles of quality managementU1T
  • 1TUExecutive Summary of the 14 Toyota Way PrinciplesU1T
  • 1TUToyota Production SystemU1T
  • For suggestions & feedback contact me at [email protected]