Joseph Juran was born in Romania in 1904 and emigrated to USA in 1912, where he lived until reaching the age of 103 (in 2008). Joseph Juran was an engineer and management consultant who is widely regarded as the founding father of many of the key quality management programmes used by organisations today.

After graduating in 1924, with a degree in electrical engineering, he was hired by Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works where he began working on statistical sampling and quality control techniques.

After WWII, Joseph Juran became a professor of industrial engineering at New York University, teaching quality control. His work in the field of quality management drew particular interest in Japan and from 1954, he made many visits to teach his quality management techniques, which became firmly embedded in the nation’s engineering and manufacturing industries.

Dr. Joseph Juran founded the Juran Institute in 1979. He remained active in the field of quality management well into his 80s, consulting for organisations worldwide, including Xerox, the US Navy, Rolls-Royce Motors and Toyota. He also produced 100s of paper and 12 books, including; Juran’s Quality Handbook.

He retired at 90, but spent the following years writing his memoirs, which were published just before his 99th birthday.



The Pareto Principle – also widely known as the 80/20 rule – follows the work of economist Vilfredo Pareto, whose studies showed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Juran realised that this same 80/20 rule could also be applied to quality issues; he coined the phrase “the vital few and the trivial many” to convey that a small percentage of root causes can result in a high percentage of problems or defects.

The principle applies in other contexts making it a universal principle. For example, 20% of an organisation’s products may account for 80% of its profits, or 20% of team members may contribute to 80% of successful results in a given project.

In terms of quality control, Pareto analysis can help identify which factors account for the greatest effects in terms of scrap, repairs or cost, and this information can in turn be used to drive improvement in processes.



Joseph Juran was one of the first to write about the cost of poor quality. This was illustrated by his The Juran Trilogy, also known as the Quality Trilogy, and consists of the three processes that together make up the overall quality management journey.

1: Quality planning – This is the design stage during which an organisation establishes an understanding of its target customer’s needs, defines the features and specifications of the product or service, and devises the processes that will deliver on those needs.

2: Quality control – Ongoing quality control involves periodic checks and inspections, and tracking metrics to ensure the process is in control and meeting specifications. Where defects are identified, root causes need to be identified to enable corrective and preventative action.

3: Quality improvement – While organisations may expect to achieve incremental improvements by day-to-day means, breakthrough quality improvement involves the identification of areas where processes can be optimised, and the organised creation of beneficial change in order to attain measurably improved performance.



Joseph Juran proposed ten steps to quality improvement:

1. Build awareness of the need and opportunity to improve
2. Set goals for that improvement
3. Create plans to reach the goals
4. Provide training
5. Conduct projects to solve problems
6. Report on progress
7. Give recognition for success
8. Communicate results
9. Keep score
10. Maintain momentum.



Juran’s concept of quality management extended outside the walls of the factory to encompass non-manufacturing processes, especially those that might be thought of as service related and he is widely credited for adding the human dimension to quality management. He pushed for the education and training of managers. For Juran, human relations problems were the ones to isolate, and resistance to change was the root cause of quality issues.


The below courses consider Juran’s theories in more depth:

• FD104 Introduction to Change Management
• PT204 Managing Change and Continual Improvement
• PR306 Leading Strategic Change and Improvement.

You can access our course guides here.



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