Introduction Kaoru Ishikawa was a pioneer in thefield of quality, and his ideas and concepts are still used today. Kaoru Ishikawa was a Japanese professor,advisor, and motivator concerning the innovative developments within the fieldof quality management. He wanted tochange the way people thought about work. He encouraged managers to resist becoming content with just improving aproduct’s quality, insisting that quality improvement can always go one stepfurther. Ishikawa’s view of company-widequality control meant for continued customer service, receiving service evenafter receiving the product. This levelof service will extend across the company to all level of management. Ishikawa belief is the quality improvementthe continuous process, and it can always be taken one step further.
BackgroundKaoru Ishikawa was born in Tokyo onJuly 13, 1915; he was the oldest of the eight siblings. In 1939 Kaoru Ishikawagraduated with his Master’s degree in applied chemistry, and in 1960 he obtainshis doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo. From 1939-1941 he was a Navaltechnical officer in charge of 600 workers to construct a factory.
Kaoru Ishikawa said that the experience hegained as a Naval Technical officer gave him the expertise to QCactivities. In 1947, he became theresearcher of the University of Tokyo and began studying statistical method,then in 1949 he joined JUSE QC research group and became an instructor. The lack of natural resources forJapan is what drove Ishikawa to visualize and later to practice of qualitycontrol to stop the waste of material and higher costs for his country. This was when Ishikawa came up with the ideaof the Fishbone diagram or Ishikawa diagram. Today many organizations are still using this diagram to generate causeand effect. This diagram helps theorganization find the cause and impact of a problem which ultimately allowscompanies to lower the cost of goods while sales keep increasing. Ishikawa was a firm believer that qualitybegins with the customer and that understanding the needs of the customer willenhance the quality of a product. Ishikawa strongly believed thatsupport from management was significant to meet the company goals.
He continually urged companies to have theirmanagement team take quality control classes, this way they can learn and applytheir knowledge to all their employees. He knows without leadership support; the programs will ultimately fail.His philosophy was the key on the basis for improving quality.
Ishikawa believedthat quality always begins with educating everyone in a company from managementto all the employees on the front line. They must continuously educate themselves and apply all their newlyacquired knowledge into the process of an organization, from customer service,product development, product manufacturing, and management. In order to use his philosophy: a companyneeds to continually educate their employees, know the wants and needs of itscustomers, remove inspections, instead give the right knowledge and power foreach employee to own their own mistakes and failures so they can fix themthemselves, remove the cause and the symptoms, quality control is theresponsibility of all workers, put quality first setting the company sight onlong-term profits instead of short-term gains, not to allow top management toshow anger when mistakes are made, instead teach and guide employees on howthey can own their mistakes and become better at their tasks. Ishikawa came up with the total of eleven keyelements to his philosophy. Primary Work, SignificantAccomplishments, and Awards Ishikawadedicated his efforts to making technical statistical techniques used inquality achievement to business in the world of quality management.
Heemphasized technologies such as the Fishbones diagram, Control Charts, ScatterDiagrams, Binomial probability paper and sampling inspection. Ishikawa wanted to change the way peoplethought about work by urging managers to resist becoming content with justimproving a product’s quality, but instead insisting that quality as means forcontinued customer satisfaction. Ishikawa’s focus was on company-wide quality as a means for constantcustomer satisfaction. “Ishikawa builton Feigenbaum’s concept of total quality and suggested that all employees havea greater role to play, arguing that an over-reliance on the qualityprofessional would limit the potential for improvement.
” (Quality Gurus 2010)Ishikawa was the focus on the contribution of the organization and believedthat the overall quality buy-in required involvement from all levels of theorganizations (senior management down to the entry-level worker). This servicewould extend across the company itself in all levels of management, and evenbeyond the company to the everyday lives of those involved.Quality improvement is a continuousprocess that can always be taken on step further.
Ishikawa showed the importance of sevenquality tools: control charts, run charts, histogram, scatter diagram, scatterdiagram, Pareto chart run chart, and flowchart. He also emphasized the importance of quality throughout a product lifecycle; not just during its production. These tools are effective whencombines with graphical data presentation methods yet often neglected asunimportant. The seven new management tools of quality control have atechnical, organizational basis rather than a statistical foundation, yet theylink very well with many essential analytical techniques and should not beignored by statisticians. Ishikawa was atrue pioneer in the quality revolution in Japan.
Ishikawa philosophy in quality controlprocess is still being practiced throughout the world. His principles, diagrams and statisticalevidence have defined the stem of TQM. These tools were designed to be used as visual aids that would transcendvarious cultures to help identify the root cause of quality issues within anorganization.Hebelieved firmly in creating job standards but felt that even standards requiredcontinuous improvement through constant evaluation and change. Standards are not the final source ofdecisions making; customer satisfaction is. Managers must consistently meet and exceed consumer needs; from theserequirements, all other decision should be created. Along with his development,Ishikawa drew and expounded on principles from other quality scientists,notably Dr. W, Edwards Deming, creator of the Plan-Do-Check-Act model.
Ishikawaexpanded Deming’s four steps into the following six: 1. Determine goals and targets2. Determine methods of reachinggoals3. Engage in education and training4. Implement work5. Check the efforts ofimplementation6. Take appropriate actionKaoru Ishikawa’s relentless pursuitof taking quality improvement one step further guarantees his status as a guruof continuous quality improvement, his legacy will remain within the TQM ofbusinesses across the globe for many years to come.Awards of Kaoru Ishikawa• 1972 American Society for Quality’s Eugene L.
Grant Award• 1977 Blue Ribbon Medal by theJapanese Government for achievements in industrial standardization• 1988 Walter A. Shewhart Medal• 1988 Awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasures, Second Class, by theJapanese government.Conclusion Kaoru Ishikawa was a visionary thatsaw the need for improvement on his country’s needs for better qualityproducts, so he came up with a solution, and that was when he innovated theFishbone Diagram. Kaoru Ishikawa kepton teaching his methods to the world, and along the way, he also showed themthe works of Deming. Kaoru Ishikawa, thecandidates that would qualify for the Deming Award. After all, Kaoru Ishikawawas the inventor of the Fishbone Diagram and Quality Circles.
These two techniques helped us to understandhow they worked and how they influenced this industry, but also supported othertop-quality TQM leaders such as Deming, Juran, and Shewhart. Understanding Kaoru Ishikawa philosophy willhelp many organizations to grow on all levels and will give them real-worldexperience by bringing the new perspective to this successful technique.