Joseph Juran dead at 103


Anyone in quality control would recognize the name; more people in business will recognize the principles.

Joseph Juran, who made “Six Sigma” a symbol of high quality control and pointed the way to statistical analysis of problems that factory floor workers could understand and use, is dead at 103.

He created the Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, which states that 80 percent of consequences stem from 20 percent of causes. Today managers use the Pareto principle, named for an Italian economist, to help them separate what Mr. Juran called the “vital few” resources from the “useful many.”

“Everybody who’s in business now adopts the philosophy of quality management,” David Juran said. “He came along at just the right time. Most of the reference books that have been written about this field are either books that he wrote or imitations.”

Among his best-known works were the “Quality Control Handbook” in 1951, the first mathematically rooted textbook on product quality, now entering its sixth edition, and “Managerial Breakthrough” in 1964, which described a step-by-step improvement process that inspired the Six Sigma and lean manufacturing philosophies.

Perhaps a mark of how far out of favor serious quality control has fallen, the New York Times article makes no mention of other quality control pioneers who worked with Juran, such as W. Edwards Deming, nor does it note the amazingly long list of companies who used the principles to achieve greatness, some of which were later skewered by other economic problems.

And I’ll wager that not one school principal in 1,000 knows who Juran was or how his methods might improve education.

More:
Dr. Joseph Juran on the cover of Industry Week, 1994

Dr. Joseph Juran on the cover of Industry Week, April 4, 1994

 

3 Responses to Joseph Juran dead at 103

  1. […] Note on the death of quality guru Joseph Juran (who is often credited with inventing the Pareto Principle, and don’t you know there’s some story there!) […]

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  2. […] Note on the death of quality guru Joseph Juran (who is often credited with inventing the Pareto Principle, and don’t you know there’s some story there!) […]

    Like

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