Does the Juran Trilogy = PDCA?


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Rarely, do I find researching a topic so easy as I did in researching Dr. Juran and the Juran Institute for my recent podcast, Business Improvement thru Quality, the Juran Way, with Juran Institute CEO Joe DeFeo. The research started reaching over to my bookcase and reviewing the Quality Control Handbook, 3rd edition by Dr. Juran. In retrospect, the book has been there my entire adult life.

From what I understand, the greatest difference in Deming vs. Juran thinking is that Deming views are describing a transformation and Juran describes how to manage quality functions. Dr. Juran says quite frankly, that the way you talk quality to executives is through the language of money.

Dr. Juran provided a systematic and linear approach to managing for quality. He looked at improvement on a project by project basis with emphasis on the vital few and useful many (Pareto Principle). This project by project basis closely resembles continuous improvement and the PDCA cycle.

Dr. Juran concepts are explained in the well-known Juran Trilogy which is comprised of three stages: Quality planning, Quality control, and Quality improvement. I have taken the liberty to adjust them to a sales and marketing perspective and hope I did not do too much damage to the overall message. The part in bold is Dr. Juran’s heading.

Quality Planning

  1. Identify the customers, both external and internal: Since this is about sales and marketing – customers should be segmented using the Pareto principle placing more of your emphasis on your most important customers.
  2. Discover your customers’ needs: Determine not only what your customer values but your market values. But don’t stop there, identify the vital few and useful many that drive these markets.
  3. Develop products features that respond to the customer needs: Understanding the vital few and useful many should drive each improvement and innovation.
  4. Develop a process that can produce the product features: Be able to engage the sales team into meaningful collaboration with the customer to understand and express what they value.
  5. Prove process capability: Determine metrics in achieving these standards.

Quality Control.

  1. Choose and establish Measurement: Determine metrics in achieving these goals. These metrics should not be based only on closed sales but also on critical touch points. Use statistical tools for analysis.
  2. Measure and interpret actual performance to operating goals: Using statistical tools, data and “tribal Knowledge” interpret the any differences between actual versus standard.
  3. Take action on differences: Since you are working off of standards, you should find that differences can be attributed to identifiable causes or breakdowns.

Quality Improvement

  1. Prove the need and identify specific projects for improvement: The projects should be identified that will provide the most financial gain (most profitable sale) and the amount of potential (customer evangelism) the project may have.
  2. Organize to guide and diagnosis causes: In the Juran type of thinking this may lead to the formation of a Quality Council. In sales and marketing this may be a hierarchy that will look at these decisions from a broader perspective than an individual sales team.
  3. Provide effective remedies: Remedies based on root cause and ones linked to the critical to quality issues discussed in the planning stage. This may also include training and additional resources.
  4. Provide for control to hold the gains: In sales and marketing we want to prevent backsliding with a customer or prospect. We may institute additional or even a different type of support such as a sales team with a stronger service or product background at this stage.

This post was just an exercise for me to walk through the Juran Trilogy from a sales and marketing perspective. In my mind, I was creating a high level outline for an improvement project in the sales process. The purest of each methodology (Lean/Juran) may beat me up for this comment but the Juran approach does not seem that much different than the Lean/Toyota mindset of PDCA. It resembles a 3-step approach to PDCA. You could possible look at in a macro (1 overall PDCA) and a micro approach (3 individual PDCA cycles).

P.S. Did you Know: Juran is widely credited for adding the human dimension to quality management. He pushed for the education and training of managers. For Juran, human relations problems were the ones to isolate. Resistance to change—or, in his terms, cultural resistance—was the root cause of quality issues. Juran credits Margaret Mead’s book Cultural Patterns and Technical Change for illuminating the core problem in reforming business quality. He wrote Managerial Breakthrough, which was published in 1964, outlining the issue. – From Wikipedia

Related Information:
A Newer Edition: Juran’s Quality Handbook 6/e
Understand Scrum, Understand Implementing PDCA
The differences in Lean and Agile
Continuously improving thru PDCA

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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