Crosby adopted his basic theories about quality in four Absolutes of Quality Management as follows:
- Quality means conformance to requirements, not goodness.
- The system for causing quality is prevention, not an appraisal.
- The performance standard must be zero defects, not “that’s close enough.”
- The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance, not indexes.
To support his Four Absolutes of Quality Management, Crosby developed the Quality Management Maturity Grid and Fourteen Steps of Quality Improvement.
Crosby sees the Quality Management Maturity Grid as a first step in moving an organization towards quality management.
After a company has located its position on the grid, it implements a quality improvement system based on Crosby’s Fourteen Steps of Quality Improvement.
Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality Management are further delineated in his Fourteen Steps of Quality Improvement as shown below:
Step 1. Management Commitment
Step 2. Quality Improvement Teams
Step 3. Quality Measurement
Step 4. Cost of Quality Evaluation
Step 5. Quality Awareness
Step 6. Corrective Action
Step 7. Zero-Defects Planning
Step 8. Supervisory Training
Step 9. Zero Defects
Step 10. Goal Setting
Step 11. Error Cause Removal
Step 12. Recognition
Step 13. Quality Councils
Step 14. Do It All Over Again
Crosby’s Cost of Quality
In his book Quality Is Free, Crosby makes the point that it costs money to achieve quality, but it costs more money when quality is not achieved. When an organization designs and builds an item right the first time (or provides a service without errors), quality is free. It does not cost anything above what would have already been spent. When an organization has to rework or scrap an item because of poor quality, it costs more. Crosby discusses the Cost of Quality and Cost of Nonconformance or Cost of No-quality. The intention is to spend more money on preventing defects and less on inspection and rework.