Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa is one the most significant names within the quality control field. Ishikawa dramatically increased the product quality level of global corporations. His ideas concerning the Total Quality Management are very popular even now. The doctor helped to increase the quality of products and services of the well-known companies, such as IBM, Bridgestone and Komatsu to name a few. Ishikawa wrote the extremely popular business book “What is Total Quality Control? The Japanese Way”, Prentice Hall, Inc. This work was a bestseller and had no analogues in the world. Due to his genius ideas, thoughts and knowledge, Ishikawa gained the number of awards from various scientific organizations, including the Deming Prize, the Nihon Keizai Press Prize, the Industrial Standardization Prize, etc (Skymark Corporation, 2011). This extraordinary man made a great contribution to the development of science, thus it is extremely interesting to read about him. The given paper covers his main achievements, and asserts the point of view, according to which Ishikawa is the most outstanding specialist in the sphere of quality control.
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Professor Ishikawa was born in 1915 in Tokyo. He was graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1939, with an engineering degree in Applied Chemistry. For a time, he worked as a professor’s assistant and after a short pause he had got the degree of Doctor of Technical Sciences at the University of Tokyo. One of the greatest achievements of Dr. Ishikawa is considered to be the creation of Quality Circle – a very popular movement in Japan. Another important innovation is the famous Ishikawa diagram. It is a graphical way of research and identifying the most important cause-and-effect relations between factors and effects in the investigated situation or problem. Besides the mentioned bestseller, there is one more book by Dr. Ishikawa, which was also translated into English. It is the first work of the professor, who died in April 1989, concerning the quality control and titled “The Book Guide to Quality Control”. (Skymark Corporation, 2011).
The main purpose of Ishikawa’s work was to establish technical and statistical techniques, which could be implemented in the process of quality improvement in the sphere of business activities. Ishikawa had also developed other diagrams, such as Fishbone diagram, Control Charts, Scatter Diagrams, and Binomial Probability Paper. The main idea beneath his work was an attempt to change the way people thought about their activities. It means the professor insisted that the increase in the quality should not be the primary purpose of manufacturing and that there always was the opportunity to improve the quality of the product. In addition to his scientific views, he also developed the list of appropriate quality tools, which are necessary while carrying out an effective management. Among these tools are: control chart, run chart, histogram, scatter diagram, Pareto chart, run chart and flowchart (Harrington, 2001). Nowadays every company offers its services providing the continued customer service. Thus, there is an urgent need to emphasize the fact that the notion “continued customer service” had also been invented by Ishikawa.
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was a brilliant scientist and a good manager, which allowed him to radically change the common approach to product quality. He supported the point of view that standards were similar to the continuous quality improvement programs, which should be constantly evaluated and changed as well (Harrington, 2001). The quality should be analyzed and supported during a life cycle of the product. The innovative approach to the product quality issues allowed him to become a world-renowned expert. In addition, Dr. Ishikawa modified the principles of product quality, developed by other scientists and identified six major steps, which are as follows: determine goals and targets, determine methods of reaching goals, engage in education and training, implement work, check the effects of implementation, take appropriate action (Skymark Corporation, 2011).
Consequently, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was a great scholar and a good expert in the field of the quality control. His inventions helped to improve the quality of products significantly. His books are extremely popular even after several decades after their release, while the principles and steps to carry out an effective quality control are applicable and still relevant.