Philip Crosby Essay

Philip Crosby was born on June 18th, 1926. He was a successful businessman and a famous author who added so much to the practice of quality management and also the management theory. Philip Crosby started the Zero defect plan at the company in Orlando Florida which was the Martin Company. As manager of Quality control at a program of Pershing Missile, Philip Crosby was accredited with a 25% decline in the general rate of rejection and a 30% rate of decline in the costs of scrap.

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After working at ITT, Philip opened a management consultancy firm in 1979 and naming it Philip Crosby Association. His consultancy firm offered quality management educational courses at the head office in Winter Park, Florida and also at 8 overseas locations.

Later in 1979 Philip Crosby published his very first book based on business, Quality is free. This book became an instant hit due to the severe problems in the North American Quality.  Through out the 1970s and 80s the manufacturers of North America were losing ground on the market share to the products of Japan only because the quality of the japenese products were much better then the North American Products.

The reply to the quality problem by Philip Crosby was the rule of DIRFT (doing it right the first time). Later he added 4 more essential principles

  • Conformance to neccessities is the true meaning of quality
  • Avoidance is the structure of quality
  • Zero defects is the standard of performance
  • The cost of nonconformance is the size of quality (SkyMark, 2007)

The recommendation of improving quality by Philip Crosby was a program of fourteen steps. His conviction was that a corporation which initiates a quality maintaining program will definitely see more saving rather than paying off the quality program cost.

Fourteen Steps to Improve Quality

  1. The organization is dedicated to maintain quality
  2. Make teams who improve quality. Bring all senior managers from different departments.
  3. Evaluate processes to decide potential and current issues of quality.
  4. Evaluate the price of poor quality
  5. Lift the awareness of quality among all of the employees
  6. Take necessary action to correct the issues of quality
  7. Check quality improvement progress. Make a committee to check zero defects.
  8. Teach the managers in improving quality
  9. Have days of zero defects
  10. Support the workers to initiate their own goals of improving quality
  11. Support the communication among employees with the senior managers about the barriers to quality
  12. Be familiar with the effort of the participants
  13. Make councils of quality
  14. Do it again. Improving quality never stops.

The Approach of Philip Crosby widened as he included new improvement ideals. He talks about the 5 different traits of a successful company

  1. Normally people do things correctly the first time
  2. Change is predictable and is used as a benefit
  3. Growth is steady and beneficial
  4. Fresh services and products emerge when required
  5. All of the workers are pleased to work. (Philip Crosby, 1995)

In the approach of Philip Crosby, the message of Quality Improvement needs to be spread by making a hub of quality experts in the organization. He strongly emphasized on the approach of top-down, as he thought that the upper management is mainly responsible to improve and maintain quality.  The main aim is to teach the staff and offer them the quality improving tools and to apply the fundamental principle of Prevention Management in each and every part. He Died on August 18, 2001. (Winter Park Public Library)


  • SkyMark (2007) Philip Crosby: The Fun Uncle of the Quality Revolution.
  • Philip Crosby (1995) Philip Crosby’s Reflections on Quality: 295 Inspirations from the World’s Foremost Quality Guru, Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition
  • Winter Park Public Library, the Philip Crosby Collection.


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