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Philip Crosby

Phil Crosby was one of the quality gurus of the early 1980s, shooting to fame with his book 'Quality is Free'. He is known for such concepts as 'zero defects' and the five-point Quality Maturity scale which HP used for its Quality Maturity System scoring in QMS 1 and 2, and which is also used by the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for software projects.

He earned his spurs as Corporate Quality Manager for Harold Geneen's ITT (Geneen ran a 'spider's web' organization with a rod of steel and espoused his approach in his classic book, 'Managing'. His organization was panned in Athos and Pascale's book, 'The Art of Japanese Management'). 

Crosby has many critics and suffered, perhaps unfairly, when Deming appeared and supplanted him as the 'real guru.' As the first guru on the modern quality scene, many companies grabbed his methods and applied them blindly, which unsurprisingly led to ineffective results. The classic fad-surfers approach was then to blame Crosby and jump on the next train pulling into the station. It is also probably fair to say that Crosby milked the situation for all it was worth, doing training through associates who themselves probably were not that expert.

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