Everyday all around the world legends are born. Gurus and Legends are forged in the blink of a moment, often from publicity alone. The fact is you don't have to write a book to be considered a Lean or Six Sigma. In fact a guru is defined as an influential teacher or a popular expert by many. With that said each of us have a list of Gurus in the Lean and Six Sigma world that we look up to. Many of them teaching us skills day in and day out without ever asking for recognition.
On this page you can submit those gurus to be featured on the Masters of Lean Six Sigma page. Simply fill out the form below and submit your biography to the community.
Dr. Feigenbaum was an American quality control guru who specialized in Total Quality Control. Dr. Feigenbaum received his PH.D. in economics from MIT and shortly after was named the director of manufacturing operations at General Electric before moving on to become President and CEO of General Systems Company which was located in Pittsfield Massachusetts. Feigenbaum wrote several books on the topic of Quality Management including: Total Quality Control and The Power of Management Innovation.
Dr. Feigenbaum was best known for his contributions in quality, some of which included:
Reference: Wikipedia: Armand V. Feigenbaum
Noriaki Kano is a professor and consultant who specializes in quality management. Mr. Kano is most noted for the phenomenal tool that he developed known as the Kano Model. The Kano model is a customer satisfaction model which places customer preferences into five categories:
In 1945 many quality associations began forming around the world. The benefits and passion surrounding quality and industrial activities were gaining momentum. Almost 40 years earlier Romania would see the face of one Joseph Juran. As one of six children Mr. Juran grew up with two sisters who shared his passion for learning. Juran would live first in Romania and then in Humorului for only a short time before his family would settle in Minneapolis. Here Juran would earn his High School degree from Minneapolis South High School in 1920.
Shortly after his graduation from the University of Minnesota Mr. Juran went to work for Bell Labs in the complaint department. It was at this time that Mr. Juran was selected to receive training in a program that Bell Laboratories was involved in. The program used statistical techniques to monitor and improve quality in the organization. In 1928 Juran's efforts earned him the titled of department chief. One year later Juran's talents and phenomenal performance would be rewarded again as he moved up in the organization. In 1941, Juran stumbled across the work of Vilfredo Pareto and began to apply the Pareto principle to quality issues (for example, 80% of a problem is caused by 20% of the causes). This is also known as "the vital few and the trivial many". In later years, Juran preferred "the vital few and the useful many" to signal the remaining 80% of the causes should not be totally ignored.
In time Dr. Juran would be invited to to Japan by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers to teach the principles of quality management as the economy recovered from World War 2. Along with his colleague W. Edwards Deming, Juran would receive the Second Order of the Sacred Treasure award from the Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Dr. Juran later published the lectures he gave in japan in a book entitled: The Managerial Breakthrough. In 1979 Dr. Juran founded the Juran Institute which is still actively alive today.
Reference: The Juran Institute, Wikipedia and ASQ.
Taiichi Ohno was born in Manchuria, China in 1912 and graduated from Nagoya Institute of Technology in 1932. In 1943 Mr. Ohno joined Toyota as a production supervisor and eventually earned the name as one of the fathers of the Toyota Production System. He wrote many books supporting the Toyota Production System some of which are: Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production and Workplace Management. In the late 1940's and early 1950's Toyota was facing financial struggles and needed to improve production and business processes in order to compete with other manufacturers of the time. It was then that Mr. Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo were challenged to improve without the use of excessive capital expenditures. Together Mr. Shingo and Mr. Ohno transformed the manufacturing world. One of the major discoveries that Mr. Ohno came across during this stage of transformation was what became known as the 7 deadly wastes: Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overprocessing, Overproduction, Defects.
Taiichi Ohno often described the Toyota Production System as a supermarket. Impressed by a previous trip to America Taiichi Ohno found it phenomenal how the markets operated based on the pull of the customer. He later took this idea back to Toyota creating the early beginnings of the Just in Time System.
Taiichi Ohno's fame has spread over the years as almost every great sensei in some way or another can trace their lineage back to Mr. Ohno.
Shewhart was the first honorary member of the American Society of Quality. He brought together the disciplines of statistics, engineering, and economics which eventualy earned him the right to be known as the father of quality.
He exhibited the restlessness of one looking for a better way. A man of science who patiently developed and tested his ideas and the ideas of others. He was an astute observer of developments in the world of science and technology. While the literature of the day discussed the stochastic nature of both biological and technical systems, and spoke of the possibility of applying statistical methodology to these systems, Shewhart actually showed how it was to be done; in that respect, the field of quality control can claim a genuine pioneer in Shewhart. His monumental work, Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product, published in 1931, is regarded as a complete and thorough exposition of the basic principles of quality control.
Dr. Shewhart completed a doctorate in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1917. He taught at the universities of Illinois and California, and he briefly headed the physics department at the Wisconsin Normal School in LaCrosse.
Most of Shewhart’s professional career was spent as an engineer at Western Electric from 1918 to 1924, and at Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he served in several capacities as a member of the technical staff from 1925 until his retirement in 1956. He also lectured on quality control and applied statistics at the University of London, Stevens Institute of Technology, the graduate school of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in India. He was a member of the visiting committee at Harvard’s Department of Social Relations, an honorary professor at Rutgers, and a member of the advisory committee of the Princeton mathematics department.
In addition to his teaching Dr. Shewhart was called upon frequently as a consultant serving notables organizations like the War Department, the United Nations, and the government of India. He was an honorary member of England’s Royal Statistical Society and the Calcutta Statistical Association. He was a fellow and officer of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Statistical Association, and a fellow of the Econometric Society, the International Statistical Institute, and the New York Academy of Science. He served for more than 20 years as the first editor of the Mathematical Statistics Series published by John Wiley and Sons.
Shewhart wrote Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control in 1939 and gained recognition in the statistical community. In addition, he published numerous articles in professional journals, and many of his writings were held internally at Bell Laboratories. One of these was the historic memorandum of May 16, 1924, in which he proposed the control chart to his superiors.
In a series of tributes to Shewhart published in Industrial Quality Control in August 1967, the most striking comment from the contributors—many of whom were themselves important figures in the development of the quality control field—was their respect for Shewhart’s gentlemanly approach and sincere interest in the work and concerns of others. His character is summed up in comments made by the chairman of the committee that awarded the first Shewhart Medal.
Walter Shewhart influenced many great leaders such as Deming who would go on to champion the PDCA cycle we know today. Dr. Shewhart was a true example of continuous improvement and his control chart which is still used today is proof that the Shewhart cycle continues to approach perfection.
Sakichi Toyoda is often referred to as the father of Japanese industrial revolution. He is also the founder of Toyota Industries Co., Ltd. He created a variety of weaving device. The most famous invention is the automatic power loom in which he applied the principles of Jidoka (autonomous automation). Jidoka principle, which means that the machine stops itself when the problem occurs, then became part of the Toyota Production System.
Toyoda developed the concept of 5 why: When a problem occurs, ask 'why' five times to try to find the source of the problem, then put into place something to prevent these problems from recurring. This concept is used today as part of implementing lean methodologies to solve problems, improve quality and reduce costs.
Reference: Wikipedia: Sakichi Toyoda
Born in 1909 Shigeo Shingo would become one of the most influential figures in lean manufacturing. After graduating from Yamanashi technical college Dr. Shingo went to work for the Taipei Railway Company. Shortly after he was transferred to a manufacturing plant in Yokohama by the name of Amano Manufacturing. Dr. Shingo immediately went to work improving production by 100%.
In about 1955 Dr. Shingo went to work for Toyota. It was there that he developed the system we know today as SMED and Error Proofing. Legend has it that Dr. Shingo was able to reduce the set-up time of a 1,000 ton press from 4 hours to a mere 3 minutes. All throughout Dr. Shingo's life he travelled the world giving talks and performing remarkable consulting projects. Dr. Shingo has written more than 10 books and countless cited papers used in the manufacturing world. After many years of hard work Utah State University created an award known today as the Shingo prize which is given for the remarkable performance of manufacturers.