need a detailed prescription derived from the rules for a particular task. In the translation
from principles to prescription, inconsistencies arise. Those translating the principles into
rules or requirements are often not the same as those translating the rules into a detailed
prescription. The principles in the field of quality management have not arisen out of
academia but from life in the workplace. Observations from the workplace have been
taken into academia, analysed, synthesized and refined to emerge as universal princi-
ples. These principles have been expressed in many ways and in their constant refresh-
ment the language is modernized and simplified, but the essence is hardly changed.
Without a set of principles, achieving a common understanding in the field of quality man-
agement would be impossible. Since Juran, Deming and Feigenbaum wrote about quality
management in the 1950s there has been considerable energy put into codifying the
field of quality management and a set of principles from which we can derive useful rules,
regulations and requirements has emerged. This chapter addresses these principles in
a way that is intended to impart understanding not only in the minds of those who pre-
fer principles to prescription, but also in the minds of those who prefer prescriptions.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting a prescription. It saves time, it’s repeat-
able, it’s economic and it’s the fastest way to get things done but it has to be right. The
receivers of prescriptions need enough understanding to know whether what they are
being asked to do is appropriate to the circumstances they are facing.
The concepts expressed in this chapter embody universal principles and have been
selected and structured in a manner that is considered suitable for users of ISO/TS
16949. It is not intended as a comprehensive guide to quality management – some further
reading is given as footnotes appropriately. ISO/TS 16949 also contains concepts some
of which are questionable but these will be dealt with as they arise. The aim is to give
the reader a balanced view and present a logical argument that is hoped will lead to
greater understanding. As ISO/TS 16949 is supposed to be about the achievement of
quality, there is no better place to start than with an explanation of the word quality.
Quality
We all have needs, wants, requirements and expectations. Needs are essential for life, to
maintain certain standards, or essential for products and services, to fulfil the purpose
for which they have been acquired. According to Maslow,
4
man is a wanting being; there
is always some need he or she wants to satisfy. Once this is accomplished, that particular
need no longer motivates him and he or she turns to another, again seeking satisfac-
tion. Everyone has basic physiological needs that are necessary to sustain life (food,
water, clothing and shelter). Maslow’s research showed that once the physiological needs
are fulfilled, the need for safety emerges. After safety come social needs followed by the
need for esteem and finally the need for self-actualization or the need to realize ones
4 Basic concepts
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