Title: How many steps to quality? From Deming cycle to DMAIC

Authors: Mark Gershon; Jagadeesh Rajashekharaiah

Addresses: Marketing and Supply Chain Management, Fox Business School, Temple University, 533, Alter Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA ' Operations Management, SDM Institute for Management Development, No. 1, Chamundi Hill Road, Siddarthanagar, Mysore 570 011, Karnataka, India

Abstract: Achieving 'Quality' in manufacturing and non-manufacturing applications does not happen in one single step. It is obvious that several steps are involved in achieving quality and these steps have to be repeated in a specific sequence to obtain the desired results. This paper traces the historical development of the quality methods which have advocated different number of steps to achieve quality. Interestingly the number of steps has not been standardised or commonly agreed upon. Often the issue of number of steps becomes a hot topic of discussion and can lead to conflict across team members. Thus, the paper tries to compare some of the popular techniques and draws parallels to emphasise the crux of improvement rather than the peripheral issue of number of steps involved. The focus is on the evolution of the 'quality improvement cycle' starting from the Deming cycle to the Six Sigma technique of DMAIC.

Keywords: Deming; DMAIC; six sigma; quality improvement; steps to quality; quality management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2013.054271

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2013 Vol.11 No.4, pp.475 - 489

Available online: 09 Apr 2013 *

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