Improvement Heroes

Walter A. Shewhart: The father of Statistical Process Control

In this blog we’re going to look at Walter A Shewhart - known as the ‘father of statistical quality control’. We’ll be exploring the legacy that this Quality Improvement (QI) hero left and how he has inspired people and influenced thinking QI over the years. As the creator of Statistical Process Control and the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) his ground-breaking work has helped shape the methodologies and thinking that we use today in QI and in this first article, we find out about his life, his work and his Quality Improvement legacy.

William Edwards Deming: The master of continual improvement of quality

As part of our ‘Quality Improvement (QI) heroes’ series, in this article we’re going to focus on William Edwards Deming – more known commonly as W. Edwards Deming – and find out more about how his work and his thinking influenced and inspired QI. We look at the influences and background of this leading management thinker, statistician and business consultant and find out more about the techniques he created which guide Quality Improvement work to this day.

Taiichi Ohno: Hero of the Toyota Production System

In this piece - part of our ‘Quality Improvement heroes’ series - we’ll be finding out more about Taiichi Ohno, the creator of the Toyota Production System. His work has hugely influenced improvement science over the years and fed into the Quality Improvement movement, inspiring the Quality work that goes on to this day.

Bill Smith: The Motorola Engineer who invented Six Sigma

In this article we are going to look at Bill Smith, another Quality Improvement (QI) hero – and sometimes known as the ‘father of Six Sigma’ We’ll be finding out more about his theories and how - having spent 35 years in quality assurance and engineering – he went on to inventing the Six Sigma method while at Motorola, a method used today in Quality Improvement.

Joseph Juran: Founder of many of the key quality management programs

In this article, we are going to look at Joseph Juran’s career in quality management and the ground breaking work he led in quality control. His theories and techniques have filtered down to Quality Improvement (QI) work today, primarily his Juran Trilogy and the vital quality work he carried out both in Japan and the USA.

Lloyd Nelson: The man who developed the concept of Special Cause Variation

In this article we’re going to find out more about Lloyd Nelson, who developed the concept of Special Cause Variation. As with many of our Improvement Heroes, Nelson’s ideas stemmed from work done by Walter A. Shewhart (plus link to Life QI article) and his invention of the 8 Nelson rules is still guiding and inspiring Quality Improvement (QI) to this day. Let’s find out more about his background, influences and ground-breaking work.

Kaoru Ishikawa: The man who invented the fishbone diagram

Kaoru Ishikawa is considered the ‘Father of Japanese Quality’ for his creation of innovative developments in quality management. He is best known for creating the fishbone diagram, a type of ‘root cause analysis’ which is still used in Quality Improvement (QI) to this day to help make decisions and create actions. Ishikawa is a hugely respected figure in Quality Improvement, having been instrumental in developing quality initiatives in Japan.

Armand V. Feigenbaum: The Father of Total Quality Control

Armand V. Feigenbaum – known as the ‘Father of Total Quality Control’ - was born in 1922 in New York City. His life’s work has hugely influenced the thinking of Quality Improvement (QI) innovators over the years, with his book ‘Quality Control: Principles, Practice, and Administration’ helping to bring together his ideas and principles on the theory of Total Quality Control (TQC). In this article, we’re going to find out more about his life, work and what inspired such pioneering quality work.

Ernest Codman: A pioneer of healthcare outcomes

Born in Massachusetts in 1869, Ernest Codman is known as the ‘Father of Outcome Management’ and is one of our quality heroes who worked as a clinician and still influences Quality Improvement (QI) to this day. Ernest Codman trained as a surgeon and made it his lifelong work to follow up on his patients after their treatment and systematically record their outcomes. He was way ahead of his time a pioneer in safety science and QI, studying and analysing the outcomes of surgical care in the pursuit of excellent quality and patient outcomes.

Avedis Donabedian: The creator of the Donabedian Model of care

Avedis Donabedian is our penultimate Quality Improvement (QI) hero in our series of blogs. Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1919, he studied as a doctor and made his way into quality improvement, becoming a key influence and innovator in improvement in healthcare. His early systems-based approach to medical quality led to him creating the classic structure-process-outcome model - or Donabedian model that is still used across QI to this day.

Don Berwick: Founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

In this, the final article in our series on Quality Improvement (QI) heroes – we shine a spotlight on Dr Don Berwick, leading authority on QI in healthcare and founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Hailing from the US, he is recognised as a leading authority on healthcare quality and improvement and he’s had a massive input and influence in the UK, sharing insights on outcomes, costs and quality of care within the NHS.