前幾天讀 Balzac的文論 知道小說家的人物是 取許多"模特兒"之最美處
可是我們看手冊中有篇/章 有些胡說八道的 benchmarking
Business management guru who adapted statistical laws to save time and waste
Joseph Juran, who has died aged 103, will be remembered as the first management guru whose name is best associated with "quality". His distinctive contribution lay in expanding the statistical conception of quality so that it became an essential resource for management. He adapted the 19th-century statistical tool known as the Lorenz Curve to make it a manufacturing aid to identify clusters of defects in the production process. By integrating it with the 19th-century statistics-based Pareto's "80/20" Law, he eliminated random searching for the majority of defects, not only saving time but reducing waste.
The translation of Pareto's Law that he coined was that 80% of problems occur in only 20% of activities. This Juran/Pareto law of identifying the "vital few" (the 20%) has been applied to many functions of management since Juran gave it application: the most widely accepted formula it has generated is that 80% of results are the consequence of 20% of total activities (for example, a popular interpretation is that 80% of profits come from 20% of customers).
Born in Braila, Romania, Juran arrived in the US when he was eight with his family to join his shoemaker father, Jakob, who had left Romania to find a better life. Juran had to work to contribute to the family income, but still excelled at his studies. In 1924 he graduated in electrical engineering from the university of Minnesota, and joined the progressive Western Electric's Hawthorne plant in Chicago, where he was assigned to the inspection department. He progressed rapidly and became a key member of the unique inspection statistical department.
In 1935 he published his first article on quality and two years later became head of industrial engineering at Western Electric's headquarters in New York. He was now at the centre of the "quality movement" as he worked on national committees with experts from other major organisations. Juran's holistic approach enabled him to merge his own ideas with those of others.
During the second world war, Juran joined the government Lend-Lease programme in Washington and improved performance by cutting red tape and eliminating waste and inefficiency, while redesigning shipping and delivery techniques for the benefit of the allies.
After the war, Juran built up a consulting practice and was a major contributor to the Quality Control Handbook (1951). It was the first book on total quality, and early editions sold more than 300,000 copies. His proposition was that "total quality" as a management philosophy could be applied to all aspects of business. Every gain by the elimination of waste was "gold in the mine".
In 1954, he embarked on a lecture tour of Japan, where his lectures were attended by chief executives of large companies (in America he would have been addressing engineers and production specialists). He showed the Japanese how to implement "quality", and became one of the few foreigners to be awarded Japan's highest civilian decoration, the Second Order of the Sacred Treasure. The Japanese were making quality products well before he appeared, he noted, and added that "quality" was not a new idea - it had been practised by the Babylonians.
He formed the Juran Institute in Wilton, Connecticut, in 1979 to continue his studies on "quality" management, working until his final lecture tour in 1993-94. He wrote 14 books, more than 100 papers, left many lecture notes and was hampered by "the disease of making no error at any cost".
Workers wanted to produce quality to give them job satisfaction, he suggested, and defective work was the result of poor design or poor management, which demoralised the work force.
He rejected the technique of trying to activate quality improvement by quality drives. It could not work because "quality" improvement was a continual process, and a function that added 10% to the manager's workload. "Management drives" in general, he thought, abused workers by creating unnecessary stress.
Always a free thinker, Juran challenged two of the conventions of management. The first was that fear is a disincentive and reduces performance. Juran believed that fear could stimulate people and enhance performance in the short-term. The second convention was that management is a logical, rational and sequential process in which luck plays no part. Juran used his own background to promote the idea that there was such a thing as luck in ordinary life, and consequently in management. As evidence, he noted his own life prospects had he stayed in Romania, compared with the good fortune he enjoyed in the US, after becoming a citizen in 1917.
On his retirement, at 93, he said that he wanted to continue with his writing to pay back society for a life that had turned out to be so fortunate. For Juran, the 20th century had been "the production century" and the 21st century would be the "quality" century.
Juran is survived by Sadie, his wife of 81 years, three sons and a daughter.
· Joseph Moses Juran, management guru, born 24 December 1904; died February 28 2008
· This article was amended on Friday March 14 2008. The statistical tool used for measuring income or wealth distribution is the Lorenz curve and not the Lorenzo curve, as we had it in the obituary above. This has been corrected.