The original notions of Total Quality Management and
continuous improvement trace back to a former Bell Telephone
employee named Walter Shewhart. One of W. Edwards Deming's
teachers, he preached the importance of adapting management
processes to create profitable situations for both businesses and
consumers, promoting the utilization of his own creation -- the
SPC control chart.
Dr. Shewhart believed that lack of information greatly
hampered the efforts of control and management processes in a
production environment. In order to aid a manager in making
scientific, efficient, economical decisions, he developed
Statistical Process Control methods. Many of the modern ideas
regarding quality owe their inspirtation to Dr. Shewhart.
He also developed the Shewhart Cycle Learning and Improvement
cycle, combining both creative management thinking with
statistical analysis. This cycle contains four continuous steps:
Plan, Do, Study and Act. These steps (commonly refered to as the
PDSA cycle), Shewhart believed, ultimately lead to total quality
improvement. The cycle draws its structure from the notion that
constant evaluation of management practices -- as well as the
willingness of management to adopt and disregard unsupported
ideas --are keys to the evolution of a successful enterprise.
To find out more about some of the management tools that have
been developed from Shewhart and other quality pioneers, click on
the SkyMark Management Tools page.