Philip Crosby

​Philip Crosby

Born: ​Jun 18, 1926

Died: ​Aug 18, 200​6

Best known for: ​Quality is Free, Zero Defects and Four Absolutes of Quality

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 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.



Philip Crosby started the management consulting company Philip Crosby Associates, Inc.


​Crosby published his first business book; Quality Is Free.

 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 First Absolute

The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (not as goodness)

The Second Absolute

The system of quality is prevention (not appraisal)

The Third Absolute

The performance standard is zero defects (not “that’s close enough”).

The Fourth Absolute

The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance (not indexes)

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.


Treat quality seriously throughout the whole business organization from top to bottom. That the companies future will be judged on its performance on quality.


Appropriate measures and systems should be put in place for quality costs, education, quality, performance, review, improvement and customer satisfaction.


The communication systems are of paramount importance to communicate requirements and specifications and improvement opportunities around the organization. Customers and operators know what needs to be put in place to improve and listening to them will give you the edge.


Work with and develop suppliers. Processes should be capable and improvement culture should be the norm.


Policies must be clear and consistent throughout the business.

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​The Fourteen Steps to Quality Improvement

1. Management Commitment

Make it clear that management is committed to quality.

2. Quality Improvement Teams

Form Quality Improvement Teams with senior representatives from each department.

3. Measure Processes

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

4. Cost of Quality

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

5. Quality Awareness

Raise the quality awareness and personal concern of all employees.

6. Correct Problems

Take actions to correct problems identified through previous steps.

7. Monitor Progress

Establish progress monitoring for the improvement process.

8. Train Supervisors

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

9. Zero Defects Day

Hold a Zero Defects Day to reaffirm management commitment.

10. Establish Improvement Goals

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

11. Remove Fear

Encourage employees to tell management about obstacles to improving quality.

12. Recognize

Recognize and appreciate those who participate.

13. Quality Councils

Establish Quality Councils to communicate on a regular basis.

14. Repeat the Cycle

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

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