Saturday, April 25, 2015

Our man Juran

Agile people may have had their first real quality thinker and champion almost 70 years ago with Joseph Juran (should I say three score and 10 years ago?)

More in line with Agile thinking, Juran began the quality shift away from W. Edwards Deming’s product focus and toward a customer focus. He -- Juran -- is known for his advocacy of the Juran trilogy:
  • Quality improvement,
  • Planning, and
  • Control.
But, here comes the Agile part:
Juran stressed the quality concept of fitness for use. He believed that meeting a specification is a necessary condition, but insufficient without fitness to use—that is, honoring the customer’s idea of product value and utility. In a word, features are not valuable unless they are everyday useful.

Juran’s ideas are what agile practitioners think of as favoring customer value over following a plan.
Juran defined five parameters that make up fitness to use:
  1. Quality of design, a judgmental parameter with grades of goodness
  2. Conformance to standards and customary expectations of the market
  3. Safety in use
  4. Usability in a customer’s setting
  5. Availability, a consequence of frequency of breakdown and rapidity of  repair
Among tools, Juran popularized the Pareto chart, which he named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto recognized the phenomenon of the 80-20 rule in his study of business activity, though the chart etc came from Juran

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