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The Life According to Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa

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    The Life according to Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa Dr. Ishikawa`s life goes down in history as a creator, author, teacher, mentor, and brother. His definition of quality control was “To practice quality control is to develop, design, produce and service a quality product which is most economical, most useful and always satisfactory to the consumer. To meet this goal, everyone in the company must participate in and promote quality control, including top executives, all divisions, within the company and all employees. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa wrote in his native country is ?? ?, was born in Tokyo July 13, 1915 one of eight sons to his mother Chiro Ishikawa and lived a full life of 73 years. He passed in April of 1989 but will be remembered as the creator of the Ishikawa diagram also known as the Fishbone diagram used to determine root causes. It was first used in the 1940s, and is considered one of the seven basic tools of quality control. (Tague) Ishikawa_Fishbone_Diagram. svg

    He was awarded the Deming Prize, the Nihon Keizai Press Prize, and the Industrial Standardization Prize for his writings on quality control, and the Grant Award from the American Society for Quality Control for his educational program on quality control. Dr. Ishikawa was a graduate from the University of Tokyo with an engineering degree in applied chemistry in 1939. His first job out of college was for was as a naval technical officer till 1941 then went to work for Nissan Liquid Fuel Company until 1947.

    One could say he was fast tracking to a larger goal. Ishikawa joined the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers JUSE quality control research group in 1949 and in 1978 held the presidency of the Musashi Institute of Technology. During this time he also obtained his Doctorate of Engineering becoming a full professor in the Faculty of Engineering at The University of Tokyo and introduced the concept of quality circles in combination with JUSE. Why stop there? He went on to write several books titled What is Total.

    Quality Control

    The Japanese Way and Guide to Quality Control (Industrial engineering & technology). “Through total quality control with the participation of all employees, including the president, any company can create better products (or service) at a lower cost, increase sales, improve profit and make the company into a better organization” says Dr. Ishikawa. Thousands of giant corporations as Komatsu, IBM, and, Bridgestone seeked out the assistance Dr. Ishikawa to turn out higher quality products at much lower costs.

    His philosophy of total quality management can be summarized by his creating of eleven points. A few of those points are Quality begins and end with education, Top management must not show anger when facts are presented to subordinates, and Data without dispersion information (i. e. , variability) are false data. “Ishikawa built on Feigenbaum’s concept of total quality and promoted greater involvement by all employees, from the top management to the front-line staff, by reducing reliance on quality professionals and quality departments”. Evans)

    Responsibility was to be taken by everyone within the company for the products that came out of the company. “Enhancing the quality of life of people enhances the quality of outcomes and productivity of their services”. (Neuhauser) Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was a brilliant man striving to change the way companies worked internally and externally. He said, In management, the first concern of the company is the happiness of people who are connected with in.

    If the people do not feel happy and cannot be made happy, that company does not deserve to exist. If only all companies followed his words.


    1. D, Neuhauser . Kaoru Ishikawa from fishbones to world peace: Qual Saf Health Care 2008;17:150-152, Retrieved November 12, 2011
    2. Evans, E. , Lindsay, W. (2008). Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence. Mason, Ohio. (pg 112) Tague, Nancy (2004).
    3. “Seven Basic Quality Tools”. The Quality Toolbox. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: American Society for Quality. p. 15. Retrieved November 10, 2011.

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