Philip Crosby

Philip Crosby

 Born: June 18, 1926

Died: August 18, 2001

Is Best Known For:

Quality is Free
His first book which made him famous.
Zero Defects
One of his four absolutes of quality.
The Four Absolutes
Four absolutes of Quality. See details below.
The Fourteen Steps to Quality Improvement
The Fourteen Steps to Quality Improvement. See details below.


The founder and chairman of the board of Career IV, an executive management consulting firm. Crosby also founded Philip Crosby Associates Inc. and the Quality College. He has authored many books, including Quality is free, Quality without tears, Let’s talk Quality and Leading: The art of becoming an executive. Crosby originated the concept of zero defects.


Four Absolutes of Quality

Crosby’s response to the quality crisis was the principle of “doing it right the first time” (DIRFT). He also included four major principles:

The Crosby Vaccine

In the Crosby style, the “Vaccine” is explained as medicine for management to prevent poor quality. It is in five sections that cover the requirements of Total Quality Management.

The Fourteen Steps to Quality Improvement


Management Commitment

Make it clear that management is committed to quality.


Quality Improvement Teams

Form Quality Improvement Teams with senior representatives from each department.


Measure Processes

Measure processes to determine where current and potential quality problems lie.


Cost of Quality

Evaluate the cost of quality and explain its use as a management tool.


Quality Awareness

Raise the quality awareness and personal concern of all employees.


Correct Problems

Take actions to correct problems identified through previous steps.


Monitor Progress

Establish progress monitoring for the improvement process.


Train Supervisors

Train supervisors to actively carry out their part of the quality improvement program.


Zero Defects Day

Hold a Zero Defects Day to reaffirm management commitment.


Establish Improvement Goals

Encourage individuals to establish improvement goals for themselves and their group.


Remove Fear

Encourage employees to tell management about obstacles to improving quality.



Recognize and appreciate those who participate.


Quality Councils

Establish Quality Councils to communicate on a regular basis.


Repeat the Cycle

Do it all over again to emphasize that the quality improvement process never ends.


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