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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Quality Assurance

Juran's Quality Handbook: The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence 6/e edited by Joseph Defeo and J.M. Juran (McGraw-Hill Professional) The definitive quality management compendium--revised for the first time in a decade.

For more than 50 years, Juran's Quality Handbook has been the singular essential reference to quality management and engineering. The Sixth Edition--the first revision of the Handbook in 10 years--forges a new standard in tools for quality. Bringing leaders, managers, master and black belts, and engineers the most up-to-date methods, research, and tools, under the guidance of a team of the world's top experts, this authoritative resource shows how to apply universal methods for delivering superior results and organizational excellence in any organization, industry, country, or process.

Juran's Quality Handbook, sixth edition covers:

  • Leadership--what everyone needs to know about managing for superior quality and results
  • Methods--the most effective methods and tools for attaining superior results, such as Lean, Six Sigma, Root Cause Analysis, Continuous Innovation, and more
  • Industry applications--effectively applying quality management
  • The roles of key functions--such as quality professionals, research and development, supply chain, and governance--and what they must carry out to attain superior results in an organization
  • Performance excellence--pragmatic roadmaps, templates, and tools to aid in developing an effective and sustainable performance excellence system

Dr. Joseph M. Juran and Juran's Quality Handbook were unknown to me until my career led me to meet this amazing person and resource. He was my teacher, mentor, boss, and later my friend. Although I was less than half his age at the time we met, he helped me and my colleagues implement his universal methods to improve our business performance. From the Pareto Principle he named, to the universal breakthrough methods, to quality by design to develop new products, we soon learned that these methods were indeed universal. These methods improved our performance. They work in any country, industry, or organization, and even in families. These methods can and will improve financial, organizational, and cultural performance by simply implementing them across your organization.

Dr. Juran once stated, "To someone that has not seen the miracles, one will not believe that they occurred." I learned the methods he espoused and I saw the results, the miracles. As a customer of the Juran Institute in 1986, our organization applied his methods and tweaked them to fit our needs. In the end we witnessed the miracles. The company I worked for improved quality and performance dramatically. We stayed in business and competed head to head with the Japanese. I have seen many organizations improve their performance in the same way. It is time to share one more edition of the handbook with another generation.

Unfortunately, Dr. Juran left us before this sixth edition of the handbook was completed. He passed away in 2008 at the enduring age of 103! He left behind his wonderful wife, Sadie (who passed away nine months later in 2008 also at 103), a remarkable family, an organization bearing his name to promote the methods to improve performance, and many publications for future generations to learn from. He trained thousands of "practitioners" in his methods. CEOs, CFOs, COOS, quality officers, and employees from many industries, in many countries. They became disciples and applied his methods. Many are now advocates of performance excellence in their own right. At Dr. Juran's 100th birthday over 200 people from around the globe came to thank him for what he did for them.

To Dr. Juran, I thank you, and to all the disciples, congratulations. To those who are just beginning their careers as new practitioners, the best has yet to be learned.

We have chapters that were authored by Dr. Juran for this sixth edition of Juran's Quality Handbook. The chapters that Dr. Juran completed have only his name as the author. He asked that others "fill in the blanks." This is noted by my name appearing on Chapter 5,

Quality Improvement: Creating Breakthroughs in Performance. For chapters he did not complete, we had some of the finest practitioners—researchers—update those chapters. To ensure this edition of the handbook is truly viewed as an important body of knowledge, we added new chapters, such as Lean and Six Sigma, since the methods for managing for quality have evolved and changed since the last edition was published in 1999. In these chapters we included Dr. Juran's input related to that subject. These were from his papers and other publications. We want to appeal to new practitioners and new leaders so they can have the same benefit and chance to learn methods and witness their own miracles. We also hope that all our readers will become acquainted with a new generation of authors who someday may be gurus as well.

I must admit this was not an easy undertaking. Following in the footsteps of giants in our field, such as Dr. Juran, Dr. Blanton Godfrey, Dr. Armand Feigenbaum, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Dr. Noriaki Kano and many more, was overwhelming at times. The good news is that Dr. Juran provided me a critique of the fifth edition. His critique provided direction, what to add, what to remove, what to research prior to his passing. Although he was not here when it was time to send this to the publishers, all readers of the handbook can rest assured that Dr. Juran is present in this edition.

I hope anyone who reads this will grant me a little leeway when providing his or her own critique. At times I wondered, did I do this book justice? In the end, our authors came through and gave me an opportunity to shine. I feel I have done my best to honor all the gurus who have gone before me and all those who have yet to come.

Highlights of the Introduction

  1. The founding concept of the handbook was to create a compendium of knowledge in the field of managing for quality. The emphasis has always been on universals—"the principles that are valid no matter what the product, the process or function" (Dr. Joseph M. Juran).
  2. These universal methods deliver superior results and performance excellence in any company, organization, industry, country, or process. They can be used to improve financial, organizational, and cultural performance by simply learning and applying them.
  3. This handbook is a reference text for all who are involved with creating, producing, and delivering high-quality goods, services, and processes to attain superior business results.
  4. There are several tables of contents. At the beginning of the book is the list of section and chapter headings, each of which describes, in the broadest terms, the contents of that section or chapter.
  5. The handbook is a condensation of each author's knowledge; i.e., what she or he wrote is derived from materials that are one or two orders of magnitude more voluminous than the published work. In some cases it is worthwhile to contact the author for further elaboration. Most authors have no objection to being contacted, and some of these contacts lead not only to more information but also to visits and enduring collaboration.
  6. In many cases a practitioner is faced with adapting to a specific situation the knowledge derived from a totally different technology, i.e., a different industry, product, or process. Making this transition requires that he or she identify the commonality, i.e., the common principle to which both the specific situation and the derived knowledge correspond.

Dr. Juran on the Creation of Juran's Quality Handbook

The idea of a handbook on quality control originated late in 1944 and was part of my decision to become a freelance consultant after World War II. I had in mind a whole series of books: the Quality Control Handbook, which was to be a comprehensive reference book; and separate manuals on quality control for executives, engineers, foremen, and inspectors.

I prepared an extensive outline for the handbook plus a brief description for each of the other books. My publisher was McGraw-Hill, who offered me a contract (a mere one-page document!) in December 1945. Publication was in 1951. It became a flagship of the many books I have written.

The concept of the handbook was to create a compendium of knowledge in the field of managing for quality. The emphasis was on universals—"the principles that are valid no matter what the product, the process or function." I was only dimly aware that I would be contributing to the evolution of a new science—managing for quality. I ended up with fifteen chapters. I wrote six of those; other authors wrote the remaining nine, which I often edited. From the outset, the handbook became the "bible" of managing for quality and has increasingly served as an international reference book for professionals and managers in the field. With the publication of the fifth edition the name was changed to the Juran's Quality Handbook; the joint editors-in-chief were Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey and I. For the sixth edition, Joseph A. De Feo will be editor-in-chief. As a fine consultant and practitioner, he has earned the recognition that comes with the publication of such a book as this.

Uses of the Handbook

We set out to make this sixth edition handbook a reference for all who are involved with leading, creating, producing, and delivering high-quality products (goods and services), and processes to attain superior results. Experience with the first five editions has shown that "those who are involved" include the following:

  • All levels in the organizational hierarchy, from the board members, chief executives, and operational managers to the workforce. It is a mistake to assume that the sole purpose of the book is to serve the needs of just the quality managers and engineers. The purpose of the book is to serve the entire organization including the workforce at all levels of the organization.
  • The various functions engaged in producing products (goods, services, or information), such as research and development, market research, finance, operations, marketing and sales, human resources, supplier relations, customer service, administration, and support activities.
  • The various specialists associated with the processes carrying out the strategic and tactical tasks to ensure all products, and business processes are properly designed, controlled, and continually improved to meet customer and societal needs.
  • The various industries that make up the global economy: manufacturing, construction, services of all kinds—high-tech, transportation, communication, oil and gas, energy, utilities, financial, healthcare hospitality, government, and so on.

The handbook is also an aid to certain gatekeepers and stakeholders who, although not directly involved in leading, producing, or marketing products, nevertheless have "a need to know" about the qualities produced and the associated positive and negative side effects. These stakeholders include the executive leadership, quality officers, and engineers who are given the responsibility to improve managing for quality from day to day; customers looking to better understand how to improve their suppliers; the supply chain; the users; the public; the owners; the media; and even government regulators.

We have conducted many focus groups and learned that our readers, the practitioners, make a wide variety of uses of Juran's Quality Handbook. Experience has shown that usage is dominated by the following principal motives:

  1. To use as a "one-stop shopping" reference guide for the methods, tools, and road maps to create a sustainable business operation driven by high-quality products.
  2. To utilize as a guide to educate their specialists, such as quality management and assurance departments, systems engineering, organizational and operational effectiveness departments, finance, and the like.
  3. To find special tools or methods and examples of their use on topics such as leadership's role in leading quality, incorporating the voice of the customer in the design of goods and services, reliability engineering, design of experiments, or statistical tools.
  4. To study the narrative material as an aid to solving their own organizational and business problems.
  5. To review subject matter for specific self-training or to secure material for teaching or training others.
  6. Using the handbook appears to be more frequent during times of change such as when developing new business initiatives, working on new processes and projects, organizing departments and functions, or just trying out new ideas.

Organization of the Handbook

Irrespective of intended use, the information provided in this handbook must be found easily. The problem for the user becomes one of (1) knowing where to find it and (2) adapting the information to his or her specific needs. Although there is a great deal of know-how in this book, it is important to understand how it is organized. There are four sections with a total of 31 chapters. Each chapter is a topic on its own and collectively makes up a robust performance excellence system. Here is a brief look at the layout of the book.

The Introduction answers the question, Why a handbook on quality? The Introduction includes the preface, dedications, and acknowledgments and how to use the handbook. There is a short but important section called "Remembering, Dr. Joseph M. Juran" and his contribution to society. This part of the handbook has therefore been designed to help the reader find and apply the specific content that relates to the problem at hand. To know where to locate it requires understanding how the handbook is structured. The handbook consists of the Introduction, Sections 1 to 4, and the Appendix I and Appendix II. The sections are outlined as follows.

Section I: Key Concepts: What Leaders Need to Know about Quality (Chapters 1 through 10). This section deals with basic concepts through which quality is managed (planning, control, and improvement) and why it is crucial to the success of most organizations. It deals with the evolution of managing for quality in the past to managing for organizational performance excellence in the future.

Section II: Methods and Tools: What to Use to Attain Performance Excellence (Chapters 11 through 19). This section focuses on how to use the management of quality methods, basic tools, and advanced statistical tools to obtain results. The primary topics include:

  •  Six Sigma
  • Lean techniques
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Innovation and Design for Six Sigma
  • Benchmarking
  • International standards
  • National awards for excellence
  • Core and advanced tools to design, control, and improve

Section III: Applications: Most Important Methods in Your Industry (Chapters 20 through 25). This section includes industries that we felt have been most effective in using the methods for managing for quality and where performance excellence has worked:

  • Manufacturing
  • Service and self-service
  • Healthcare systems
  • Processing-based organizations Software development
  • Defense

Section IV: Key Functions: Your Role in Performance Excellence (Chapters 26 through 31). This section illustrates the roles that key functions must play to enable the organization to attain superior results.

The Appendixes. This part of the text provides additional information and tools to aid a leader, manager, or practitioner.



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