Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa has been a great influence on many areas including management and quality. It has been said that Dr. Ishikawa is one of the world’s authorities on quality control. The companies that he has helped turn out higher quality products at lower costs include IBM and Bridgestone (Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, 2010). Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was a Japanese professor and a very influential quality management innovator. Dr. Ishikawa is best known for the cause and effect diagram, which is also referred to as fishbone diagram. Ishikawa has lead a great life and influenced very much in the world of quality and management.
Kaoru Ishikawa was born on July 13th, 1915. Ishikawa graduated from Tokyo University with a major in applied chemistry (Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, 2011). In 1947 he was made an Assistant Professor at the University. He obtained his Doctorate of Engineering and was promoted to Professor in 1960. Ishikawas’’’ first job was a navel technical officer, where he was in charge of 600 workers to construct a factory. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa mentions in his book that this was a very important experience for him in quality control activities later on in his life.
In 1947 Ishikawa became a researcher and began studying statistical methods at the University of Tokyo. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa joined the JUSE QC research group and he became an instructor (Quality Management System | QA/QC | ISO, 2011). Between 1969 to 1981 Ishikawa went from being a member of ISO, Japan to being an executive Member of ISO. And in 1981 Ishikawa published his book “What is Total Quality Control? The Japanese Way”. Kaoru wanted to change the way that people thought about work. He wanted manager to stop just being content and wanted them to insist on quality and know that you can always go one step further towards improvement (Quality Management System | QA/QC | ISO, 2011).
Dr. Ishikawa led the use and concept of Quality Circles and the intended use of a quality circle which is to: support the improvement and development of the company, respect human relations, increase job satisfaction, and draw out employee potential (Quality Management System | QA/QC | ISO, 2011). Ishikawa thought that quality must be companywide and that included not only the management and people but also the products and service. He thought that quality improvement must be companywide.
Ishikawa is credited with making the cause and effect diagram which is also called the Fishbone Diagram or the Ishikawa Diagram. This diagram gives the user an opportunity to see the causes of a given result and in theory be able to identify the imperfections and allows an opportunity to improve quality. In addition to Ishikawas’ own ideas he was able to expend on the principles of other important people in the quality management world. Ishikawa also expanded on Deming’s PDCA model. Thought process was important to any innovator. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa states that the following thought processes guided him (The Quality Management Resource, nd).
1. Engineers who pass judgment based on their experimental data must know statistical methods by heart. 2. Japan does not have an abundance of natural resources and must import raw materials and foodstuffs from overseas. This means that exports must be expanded. The days of cheaply produced, poor quality goods for export are over. Japan must endeavor to make high quality goods at low cost. For that reason, quality control and statistical quality control must be conducted with utmost care. 3. The eight years that I spent in the non-academic world after my graduation taught me that Japanese industry and society behaved very irrationally. I began to feel that by studying quality control, and by applying QC properly, the irrational behavior of industry and society could be corrected. In other words, I felt that the application of QC could accomplish revitalization of industry and effect a though revolution in management.”
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was a very important and influential person in the world of quality improvement. After his death in 1989 Juran delivered a beautiful to speak to the wonderful and insightful things that Ishikawa had to offer. Dr. Ishikawa received many awards in his life including American Society of Quality’s Eugene L. Grant Award, Blue Ribbon Medal by the Japanese Government for achievements in industrial standardization, Walter A. Shewhart Medal, and he was also awarded the Order of the Scared Treasures, Second Class, By the Japanese Government. Dr. Ishikawa was never ceasing in his pursuit of taking quality improvement one step further. Ishikawas legacy will remain within the TQM of businesses for many years to come.
January 9, 2018
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